A handful have been stirred for Nicky Forward Obi Toppin in his rookie season. But there have not been too many offenses or minutes to take the 2020 lottery.
The Brooklyn product said he is still making the leap from Dayton to the NBA and hopes to unveil “new things” to encourage his adjustments.
The highlight of the Dayton dunk machine rogue season may come in Atlanta if they are invited to participate in a slam dunk contest at the newly-arranged All-Star event.
A broad grin broke out on Toppin’s face at the prospect – a possible indicator that is inside the intelligence of having a legitimate chance at an invite.
“Dunk competition, I think we’ll just have to wait and see,” said a smiling toppin. “I don’t want to just give you all the answers, but hopefully I can go there. Probably not. So we’re just going to wait and see.”
Knicks coach Tom Thibodo is riding rising star Julius Randle, running for about 40 minutes per game, limiting Toppin’s playing time to just 12 minutes.
Toppin needs to work to protect his team, and he is not physical enough to make his shot. Too often, Shakti is setting pikes ahead and wasting on the perimeter, where he has not been known as an elite 3-point shooter.
“I think I’m still trying to find my offense, my strength is on the offensive side,” Toppin said. “I think everyone is helping me, my coaches and teammates. They are all helping me to try to find what I’m really good at.”
“I am still playing in the NBA for the first time, trying to find my offensive spot. I’m trying to figure out what I’m really good at at this stage. I am going to start trying new things. ”
Asked what differences he had between Dayton and the NBA, Toppin said: “The difference between college and now – I think physicality, speed of the game, those two things are the main things I probably need to adjust to. I am learning every single day and feel that I am getting better. ”
The Missing Summer League was a major loss for Topping, who did not play in an elite program like Emmanuel Quickley in Kentucky. The NBA GM still projected Toppin at age 22 would compete for Rookie of the Year, voting him as the third-most likely candidate.
An NBA source associated with the Knicks said of Toppin’s strange situation: “Some of the stuff he does in college, it doesn’t work. Right now he knows all that. He’s not able to acclimate to the NBA because it’s college. Is different from. He is learning. He knows it is a process. He knows that he is a crook and he has a lot to learn. He is ready for it, and he is also patient. Give it time, it will come. ”
In 13 games, Toppin is averaging 4.6 points. 2.5 rebounds and 0.6 assists. He has also lost 10 games with calf strain.
Thibodo said he needs to improve his team’s defense and feels that the absence of the Summer League has really hurt the college player of the year.
“All the crooks, that’s the challenge,” Thibodo said. “You have a skill set from players in the league that is different from college. The lane is different, the rules are different. He needs to know the system he is in. He needs to know about the league and the players. Each day he is doing a lot of good things. But through the first time, it is a challenge for every crook. Will be better through second time, then better third time. He is making good, steady progress. ”
On Saturday, the 6-foot-9 Toppin will face a boyhood idol – fellow Brooklynite Carmelo Anthony – as the Knicks host the Trailers. He eventually hopes to master the tricks inside Anthony.
“I had definitely been watching him all my life,” Toppin said. “He is an amazing player. He is a very strong post game. He has a very nice touch. Looking at the different moves in the post, I think I will try and learn from it. [him]. ”