New York Knicks: The key to balancing Julius Randle and Obi Toppin

New York Knicks, Julius Randle, Obi Toppin. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Julius Randle, Obi Toppin. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Knicks: Obi Toppin needs more attention

Obi Toppin is one of the most captivating 2nd-year players in the league.

Really, there aren’t many players with his skill set and physical tools that I can think of. While Toppin’s style of game isn’t the perfect match with the type of team the Knicks established last season, he has shown this year that he is capable of being a net-positive player in a tough circumstance.

This is another example of the Knicks missing Derrick Rose, who is a key in activating Toppin off the bench.

At this point in his career, Toppin is still absolutely a better fit to come off the bench. There aren’t a ton of frontcourt players who deserve the moniker “sparkplug” but Obi Toppin is one of them.

We see when Toppin can get in that 16-20 minute range, he can produce numbers.

In his last 3 games where he’s played 15+ minutes, Topping has scored 13 points, 18 points, and 15 points.

Getting Toppin more involved isn’t just to help Randle rest, it’s to Obi Toppin grow.

For whatever reason, it feels as though developing Obi Toppin is this sort of “throw it on the backburner” task for this organization.

This isn’t a Frank Ntilikina situation where fans are begging for a fan favorite to play simply because he is a fan favorite (although Obi certainly is that).

Rather, developing Obi Toppin could be an important part of this team’s future.

We have to be realistic about the state of the team right now. No one is trying to “punt” on the season, but this is a team that needs to see what some of these young players are made of for the long term.

This team invested a high draft pick in Toppin and there is no excuse for him to have an inconsistent role where he’s playing single-digit minutes every other night.

Get him consistent minutes in a consistent role, let him play through the lumps, and watch him grow.

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