Obi Toppin’s promising season hit a snag in the west.
The reserve forward struggled in the final four games of the trip with his shot, going 5-for-28 from the field and 2-for-15 from 3-point range. He was particularly uncomfortable against the Warriors, missing all five of his shot attempts, including two dunks.
Toppin had performed so well up to that point. He shot over 40% from range before this mini-crisis. But coach Tom Thibodeau believes it’s only temporary.
“I trust his process,” the Knicks coach said. “He is very diligent. I think he has a strategy for everything. He put a lot of time into his filming. Players go through things like that, but he can help us in different ways. Just the way he moves the ball, the way he runs the ground, gets rebounds. But I am very confident in his abilities.
Sophomore guard Miles McBride saw his first rotational minutes of the season in the final two games of the road trip due to Derrick Rose’s right toe injury. He performed well, scoring nine points in the lopsided loss to the Suns and had three points, two assists and two steals in the win over the Thunder. In 15 minutes against Oklahoma City, McBride was plus-3.
“We like who he is. I just think about his competitiveness; he has a defensive mindset. He can hold multiple positions,” Thibodeau said. “He’s more of a goalscorer. He can shoot. He can put it down on the ground. He can finish. he is [got] real long arms, disruptive, jostling. So I think that adds a lot to the team, and it gives us great depth in this position.
The Knicks have listed Rose, Mitchell Robinson (right knee pain) and Cam Reddish (right groin pain) all questionable for Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers.