Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin have roller-coaster Knicks debut

0
15


One hurt his hip. The other hurt his shooting percentage.

You can never accuse the Knicks two rookies, Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, of being shy.

Tom Thibodeau has a reputation for not relying on his rookies, but he was ready to roll with his two confident first-rounders in the season opener in Indiana on Wednesday.

If he didn’t get injured with a hip pointer late in the second quarter, Quickley probably would have played major minutes off the bench as the backup point guard. He ran the offense with moxie in his 12 minutes of action, and though he shot 1 of 3, he was a plus-5.

In fact, Thibodeau lamented the loss of Quickley in the second half when the Knicks fell apart. And he was their 25th-overall pick.

The Knicks coach had no qualms rolling out Toppin for 23 minutes as their lottery pick last month made his regular-season NBA debut. The Dayton scoring forward got a little too anxious launching 3-pointers after some early success.

He finished his debut shooting 3 of 12 — 3 of 7 from the 3-point line, one of which he banked home. The Brooklyn native only averaged two 3-point attempts per game during his storied sophomore year at Dayton.

Immanuel Quickley; Obi Toppin
Immanuel Quickley; Obi Toppin
Getty (2)

Taking seven in his first outing definitely hit the over if Las Vegas had a line on Toppin’s 3-point attempts. The Dayton dunk machine scored nine points — all on 3s.

“I’m just trying to find the flow of the game,’’ Toppin said. “And those were the spots I found. I think I had a couple inside shots but I rushed it a lot. I’m still learning. This is my first real season game and I have a lot to learn. So I’m going to take my time and allow everybody to give me feedback on the team and just learn from it.”

Toppin’s highlight came when he grabbed a rebound, initiated a fast break and hit RJ Barrett with a laser for a dunk. His lowlight came when he drove to the basket, went up for a dunk and got blocked by Myles Turner.

“I don’t feel perfect, but I feel all right,’’ Toppin said. “It was a learning experience. All of us have to get better at what we’re doing on the court and trust each other and trust what the coach is telling us.”

The 60-41 second half put forth by the Pacers was an eye-opener.

“In the first half we played really well offensively, OK defensively,’’ Toppin said. “In the second half they had a lot more energy than we did. We’ve got to play 48 minutes of hard basketball and great effort basketball.’’



Source link