Obi Toppin is making his NBA preseason debut against excessive-flying Pistons star Blake Griffin. The 6-foot-9 Knicks rookie stud from Brooklyn has heard the comparisons to Griffin due to their dunking capability.
“He’s an amazing participant, aggressive, and I can’t wait to get on the ground with him and study within the second,” Toppin mentioned Friday on a Zoom name after the Knicks’ morning shootaround. “So being on the ground with him goes to be superb. I can’t wait.”
The adjustment to the NBA for Toppin formally begins Friday evening at Detroit’s Little Caesars Enviornment when the Knicks play their first of 4 preseason video games.
The Dayton dunk machine has already seen in scrimmages the tempo is quicker. These transition dunks that occurred within the Atlantic 10 received’t come as simply within the NBA.
“All people is aware of me for leaking out – or, not leaking out, however getting forward of the protection on quick breaks – getting open dunks,’’ Toppin mentioned. “I didn’t get not a kind of but, and we had seven or eight practices.
“You’ve received to know that these guys are execs, and so they’re going to do what they need to do to not permit another person to get a straightforward bucket. Simply little issues like that. However you see the completely different pace that this degree performs at, and it’s quite a bit completely different from faculty.’’
Maybe Toppin, the 2019-20 faculty participant of the 12 months, is attempting to decrease the huge expectations after being chosen No. 8 within the draft final month.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has already said that Toppin not having a Las Vegas summer time league or late-summer time scrimmages on the group facility has made it “a problem.’’
Julius Randle figures to be the Knicks’ beginning energy ahead, and the query is whether Toppin can start at the 3 in a tandem. For now it seems Toppin isn’t taking part in the three in scrimmages.
“I’ve been matched up against Julius Randle — who else?’’ Toppin mentioned of the scrimmages in Tarrytown. “Subsequent, Mitch (Robinson) generally. Enjoying against these guys, they provide me loads of suggestions. They’re nice guys, particularly Jules. He’s been serving to me all through this complete course of, getting further pictures up and watching movie. He’s been instructing me quite a bit.’’
Detroit was the final of seven groups to cross on Toppin. The Pistons have been identified across the league to be fixated on including some extent guard, and so they drafted Killian Hayes proper earlier than the Knicks picked.
“The groups that handed me up, it doesn’t actually have an effect on me as a result of God has a plan for everyone,’’ Toppin mentioned. “He put me right here for a cause. I’m with an amazing teaching workers and nice teammates, so I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Toppin, 22, is a late bloomer who finished his high school career at Ossining High in Westchester with scant Division I presents.
“I’m assured Obi will make a easy transition as a result of he has an amazing help system consisting of his household and shut pals,’’ Ossining Excessive coach Michael Carey informed The Post.