The New York Knicks clinched their second playoff berth in three seasons Sunday night, as they took down the visiting Washington Wizards in a triumphant fashion. In place of injured star Julius Randle, big man Obi Toppin was found slotted into the club’s starting lineup and, as a result, had himself a season-best performance.
Lighting it up from all areas on the floor, the 25-year-old showcased his well-rounded skill set through 33 minutes played. Of course, he also displayed his famous bouncing abilities periodically throughout the affair, with a noteworthy jam coming early in the fourth period over the head of former Knicks teammate, Taj Gibson.
Following the exhibition, Toppin was asked by reporters if he would “count” his highlight play as a dunk, considering it “rattles around then goes in.” In response, the third-year big made it clear that he does, especially when considering who it came at the expense of.
“Taj, not just somebody. Taj Gibson…It’s still a dunk, I’m counting that. I ain’t playing him again this year so I’m counting that,” Obi Toppin said.
Obi Toppin had a season high 21 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block in NYK’s win. Afterward, Toppin had fun talking about his dunk(?) on ex-Knick Taj Gibson. Gibson – a great vet for Toppin & other young Knicks – hit 4 threes in WAS’s loss: pic.twitter.com/OnmE1vVn9Y
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 3, 2023
In a follow-up question, when asked if he had “words for Taj” following the dunk, Obi Toppin retorted with one word: “Always.”
The former lottery pick has, unfortunately, been sequestered in a mere low-usage reserve role for the vast majority of his third year with the Knicks.
However, since Julius Randle went down with a grueling ankle sprain, Toppin has served as the starting four for the ball club and, in turn, has only managed to shine.
He would finish the night against the Wizards with 21 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block on 60.0% shooting from the field and 37.5% shooting from deep.
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