NY Daily News: Rookie Obi Toppin already wowing his Knicks teammates with his athleticism, but defense needs work

From Stefan Bondy:

Some players like to get loose with a few jumpers. Maybe some lay-ups. Get a feel for the rim and the muscles.

Then there’s Obi Toppin.

“He comes in the gym 8 in the morning and his first shot is a between-the-legs dunk,” Kevin Knox said. “His athleticism is just crazy.”

There are few certainties with rookies in the NBA, but this much can be assured about Toppin: athletically, he’s a monster. The 22-year-old power forward showed up to Knicks training camp and set a goal of breaking the conditioning test records.

First goal was achieved. We’re envisioning a Toppin-Zion final in the Slam Dunk contest.

“When I go out there I try my best to have the highest score — I always ask what the highest score is so I can beat it,” Toppin, the eighth overall pick, said Thursday. “And I believe I’m the highest person in the conditioning test.”

Toppin has the potential to electrify the Garden, and it’s a shame there won’t be fans to appreciate his high-flying act. But New York’s plan is to keep Toppin well after the vaccine will allow for a full MSG, and he’s stepping into a promising situation in Year 1 with a demanding coach and a roster that should provide him plenty of opportunities.

I mean, it’s nice to hear, I guess, but honestly, doesn’t it sort of sound like those “best shape of his life” stories, just about a rookie? Seems odd.

And since we have to have all polls all the time, let’s do some Rookie of the Year predictions, using just the guys who have betting odds right now.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.