Fan-favorite Knicks forward Obi Toppin is expected to be ready for opening day on Wednesday after recovering from an ankle injury, while guard Quentin Grimes remains questionable with a sore foot.
Toppin, the 24-year-old power forward, hurt his ankle during preseason, and missed team activities until he returned at full strength for the team’s practice on Tuesday.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau said he expects the young big man to be available for New York’s road game against the Grizzlies. With Memphis coming into the season as one of the most athletic and explosive teams in the NBA, led by guard Ja Morant, Toppin’s youth and ability to run the floor will be a major boost to their offense and defense.
Toppin will begin the season as the backup power forward to veteran Julius Randle.
Grimes, meanwhile, has had a nagging foot injury that may keep him out of the game.
The 22-year-old shooting guard did manage to play during the team’s last preseason game on Friday against the Washington Wizards, and he logged 16 minutes.
However, Grimes had a highly unproductive game, when he scored zero points on two missed shots, and recorded just one assist and one rebound.
He looked hobbled a bit, and missed practice in the following days. The team is taking it slow for his return to full-time action.
“The idea behind [him sitting] is to get to the point where it doesn’t reoccur,” Thibodeau told the Daily News. “So if we have to be a little bit more patient now, that’s what we’ll do. It’s a long season, so get healthy completely.
Fellow shooting guard Evan Fournier is slated to start the season at shooting guard, but the Knicks have been very high on Grimes’ potential this season. He is expected to compete with Fournier for minutes this year, and will be a significant contributor either way.