Knicks News: Obi Toppin injury more severe than expected, Elfrid Payton sees the light

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Elfrid Payton #6 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2020 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks headed into a difficult contest against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday evening with more bad news. Rookies Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin are both rehabilitating with injuries, not even lasting two games before being forced to the bench. Unfortunately, both injuries will keep them out for multiple games, but eighth overall pick, Toppin, could miss weeks with a calf strain.

“When you miss that type of time, with that type of injury, there’s going to be a period of time for him to get back to speed in terms of playing,’’ Thibodeau said. “And so obviously with a calf, you can’t run or jump, so the conditioning component will factor into that.’’

It was previously thought that Obi wouldn’t miss too much time, but calf injuries have derailed player’s season’s in the past. Despite the loss of both rookies, Sunday evening went surprisingly well for the Knicks against Milwaukee.

In the contest, which was the Knicks’ first win of the 2021 season, they scored 130 points thanks to fantastic performances from Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, and Alec Burks. There were very few players who didn’t contribute positively to this win, and they did it without both of their new players from the most recent draft class.

A big win for the Knicks to cover up the start to the season:

To start the campaign, the Knicks dropped their first two games, allowing over 100 points in both, and that didn’t change against the Bucks, despite winning by a 20-point margin. Their defense, which is supposed to be their staple under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, has not emerged as a significant factor. They are simply being forced to outscore their opponents.

The Knicks look ahead to Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team they beat twice during the preseason. The Cavs are coming off a strong performance against the Philadelphia 76ers and have won three straight to start the season. They have overcome the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and 76ers, scoring 118+ points in all three games. Simply put, the Knicks will have to dominate on the scoreboard against this opponent as well, as their defense will do little against a team displaying a high octane offense.