In the New York Knicks’ preseason win over the Boston Celtics last night, Jacob Toppin showed a natural ability on both sides of the floor. With four points and two blocks in only nine minutes played, the 23-year-old rookie looks to develop into precisely what the Knicks look to enhance. A defensive-minded slasher behind Julius Randle at the power forward position creates even more variation needed to compete among the best teams in the NBA.
Expectations for Jacob Toppin this preseason
Trading former slam dunk champion Obi Toppin to the Pacers was an unexpected move among Knicks faithful. Yet, Obi lacked his consistency on the defensive end.
His younger brother Jacob has no issue being whatever the Knicks need him to be, stating following their win, “I feel like I could bring a lot defensively. I think I could guard multiple positions. I’m just very versatile on that side.”
The emphasis on defense shows he knows what’s needed and wants to succeed in those expectations.
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Knicks head coach praises Toppin
An emerging player on the young Knicks roster, Jacob Toppin was given incredibly high praise from Coach Thibodeau.
“I like him a lot. I like his energy. Every day he comes in, great concentration.”Tom Thibodeau on Jacob Toppin via The New York Daily News
Toppin currently resides on a one-year deal. The leaps he takes this season mean all the world to his NBA future. Growing more on the defensive end is innate to the younger Toppin, suggesting he will find his place in the rotation.
Coach Thibodeau stated, “There’s a defensive component to him. He likes contact rebounds in traffic.”
Teams across the league are finalizing their rosters for opening night.
Can Toppin secure a spot on the opening night roster?
With three spots left on the Knicks roster, there is much competition as Coach Thibodeau values defensive integrity, and Toppin must stay diligent with efforts. “…they’re all worthy, they’ve been here a long time,” stated Coach Thibodeau before tip-off.
Saturday’s game against the Timberwolves will be another chance for Toppin to expand on his defensive prowess.