Obie Toppin’s promising season hit a road bump out west.
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The reserve forward struggled with his shot in the final four games of the trip, going 5-for-28 from the field and 2-for-15 from 3-point range. He was particularly rough against the Warriors, missing all five of his shot attempts – including two dunks.
Toppin had done so well up to that point. He shot above 40 percent from distance before this mini-slump. But coach Tom Thibodeau believes it’s only temporary.
“I trust his process,” said the Knicks coach. “He is very hard working. I think he has a strategy for everything. He has put a lot of time into his shooting. Players go through these kinds of things but he can help us in many ways. The way he moves the ball, the way he runs on the floor, he gets some rebounds. But I have full confidence in his ability.”
Second-year guard Miles McBride saw his first rotation minutes of the season in the last two games of the road trip due to Derrick Rose’s right toe injury. He performed well, scoring nine points in a one-sided loss to the Suns and three points, two assists and two steals in a win over the Thunder. In 15 minutes against Oklahoma City, McBride had a plus-3 rating.
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“We love who he is. I just think about his competitiveness; he has a defensive mindset. He can guard multiple positions,” Thibodeau said. “He’s a high scorer. He can shoot. He can put it on the floor. He can finish. He’s [got] Real long arms, disruptive, hustle. So, I think it adds a lot to the team, and it gives us a lot of depth in that position.
The Knicks listed Rose, Mitchell Robinson (sore right knee) and Cam Reddish (sore right groin) for Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers.