Atlantic Notes: Toppin, Randle, Powell, Mazzulla

Knicks forward Obi Toppin is still in the early stages of rehab from his right leg injury, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Toppin, who has not played since Dec. 7, said his workouts are limited to spot-up shooting, pool work and upper-body weightlifting. The Knicks’ primary backup to Julius Randle will need “couple more reevaluations” before returning from the fractured bone in his leg.

“Not really any pain, but I could not feel pain and it could still be messed up,” Toppin said. “So it’s all up to [the Knicks’ medical staff]. Whenever they feel I should be back, that’s when I’ll come back.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Randle caused a stir, particularly among Knicks fans, when he sat in the front row of Mavericks-Jazz playoff game last spring. Randle was accompanied by Knicks executives William Wesley and Alan Houston, but Randle insists they weren’t there to be seen by potential acquisitions Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell. Randle, who lives in the Dallas area, claimed Tuesday it was just a coincidence, Bondy writes. “I didn’t even know [Wesley and Houston] were in town,” he said. “Just so happened to happen like that.”
  • Former Raptors champion and current Clippers forward Norman Powell returned to Toronto on Tuesday for the first time since Feb. 28, 2020, Law Murray of The Athletic tweets. The Raptors were on a road trip when the pandemic hit and then played in the Orlando bubble before spending the next season in Tampa, with Powell traded to Portland midway through that year. He was inactive for the Trail Blazers’ game in Toronto last season and was dealt to the Clippers after Los Angeles had already played there.
  • The Celtics still don’t plan to remove the interim tag from Joe Mazzulla before the end of the season, according to Adam Himmelbach of the Boston Globe. Ime Udoka‘s suspension is due to end in June. Mazzulla, who missed Tuesday’s game due to eye irritation, according to Jared Weiss (Twitter link), may have been given some assurances about his future privately by the front office. It’s expected that Mazzulla will be retained as the head coach after the season.
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