Obi Toppin’s promising season hit a road bump out 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 off against the Warriors, missing all five of his shot attempts — including two dunks.
Toppin had performed so well up to that point. He shot above 40 percent from distance before this mini-slump. But coach Tom Thibodeau believes it is only temporary.
“I trust his process,” the Knicks’ coach said. “He’s very diligent. I think he has a strategy for everything. He’s put a lot of time into his shooting. Players go through things like that, but he can help us in a lot of different ways. Just the way he moves the ball, the way he runs the floor, gets some rebounds. But I’m very confident 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 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 had a plus-3 rating.
“We love who he is. I just think his competitiveness; he’s got a defensive mindset. He can guard multiple positions,” Thibodeau said. “He’s more of a scorer. He can shoot. He can put it on the floor. He can finish. He’s [got] real long arms, disruptive, hustles. So, I think it adds a lot to the team, and that gives us great depth at that position.”
The Knicks listed Rose, Mitchell Robinson (sore right knee) and Cam Reddish (sore right groin) all as questionable for Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers.