New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin is currently playing himself into elite territory, putting up stats that align the young forward with similar numbers as superstar players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis. Though only appearing in limited minutes for the Knicks this season, Toppin’s per-36 minute averages suggest star potential from the second-year-pro.
In his sophomore season with New York, Obi Toppin is averaging 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.8 blocks a game. These numbers aren’t eye-popping, considering Knicks’ head coach Tom Thibodeau has limited his promising second year forward to just 15 or so minutes a game thus far.
However, Toppin’s per-36 paint the picture of an elite NBA forward and and a potential premiere shot-blocker, similar to the likes of 2020 NBA Champion Anthony Davis and 2021 NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. From Tommy Beer of Forbes, per-36 minutes, Toppin is averaging 18.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 blocks a game.
The Dayton University product, Toppin’s prorated 2021 numbers are only matched by superstars like Davis and Antetokounmpo. It is remarkable company for Toppin who looks poised to take his game to another level as his minutes steadily increase. However, those high-level minutes may be tough to come by for Obi, at least for the foreseeable future. This because the winner of the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award for 2021 also plays power forward for the Knicks, in All-Star Julius Randle.
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Toppin is beginning to show extreme promise for a second year player, and it is up to Coach Thibodeau to help manage his minutes and on-court-role appropriately, in order to get the most out of what could be another dominant big man for the team in the Big Apple.