NY Knicks: 3 Players Obi Toppin Can Learn From

Obi Toppin, New York Knicks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
John Collins, NY Knicks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: John Collins is a good blueprint for Obi Toppin

Earlier in the season, my colleague Geoffrey Campbell made the case for Toppin to look towards Collins as a player he can learn from to develop on the defensive end of the court.

I’m revisiting the conversation around this duo, but instead of talking defense, I want to focus on why Collins should be a role model for Toppin on offense.

On the surface, it is very easy to understand why both Geoffrey and I thought of an Obi Toppin and John Collins comparison. Both players are long, high flying, 23 year-old forwards whose fantastic athleticism can give opposing defenses hell at the rim. Both can even handle the ball a little bit.

By the way, Collins and Toppin actually have pretty similar jump shots.

Coming into this year, we all thought that Toppin would be able to shoot three pointers due to the efficiency he showed in doing so in college. Unfortunately, his 39% three-point shooting (2.6 3PAPG) has not translated yet, as he’s only shooting 28.8% (1.4 3PAPG) with New York.

Collins in his time at Wake Forest didn’t even shoot three’s, yet his ability to stretch the floor with his mid-range jumper showed promise of a three point shot.

In his rookie season the promise shined through, as Collins shot 34% from three on 0.6 attempts. Since then, his percentage has improved as he’s taken more looks from deep. He is on track to have his second straight year of shooting at least 38% on over 3 attempts/game.

Not only is it important that Toppin can shoot efficiently in general, but no forward in the league keeps a job for long if they can’t stretch the floor at a respectable clip. Additionally, being a stretch-four will do wonders for Toppin just as it has for Collins, who can keep defense’s honest and give himself more great looks at the rim with defense’s being forced to play out on him.

If Toppin wants to live above the rim and be the offensive force we saw he was a year ago, he needs to work on getting back to shooting like he did then.