New York Knicks: 4 takeaways from Obi Toppin’s preseason debut

Obi Toppin, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Obi Toppin, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 11, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) runs back down the court during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

2) Obi Toppin looked legit

While recording a podcast earlier this week, I told the host Jonathan Macri that the best outcome for the Knicks this season would be if one of the young players proves they are a legit future All-Star. Obviously, we can’t use one preseason game to tell us whether that will happen or not, but it was at least promising to see Obi Toppin start off his Knicks career with an impressive outing.

It reminded me of watching Kristaps Porzingis in the Summer League after the 2015 Draft. After reading the scouting reports and worrying whether his game would translate to the NBA, it became quickly apparent that he could become something special.

Obi Toppin has a lot of work to do. We know his limitations on defense. But if his offensive game reaches its peak, he can be a dominant force. If he can become a star offensive player, he wouldn’t be the first to do so with extreme limitations on the other end of the floor. And, who knows, maybe growing up in the NBA under Thibodeau teaches him a few defensive tricks.

Toppin finished with 11 points, most coming during an exciting stretch in the first half, to go along with 7 rebounds and 1 assist. He looked comfortable working out of the post. He had a really nice play in transition where he dribbled the ball all the way down the court off a Detroit miss, found Kevin Knox open in the corner, and then moved himself into position to receive the ball back for an easy dunk.

It could be a fun season following the Dayton product.