One of the main benefactors of Derrick Rose's move to the New York Knicks has been rookie Obi Toppin. The first-year power forward has looked better playing alongside Rose — something that Toppin himself recently opened up about.
According to Toppin, Rose's ability to bring up the tempo of the game is one thing the rookie relishes:
“The pace that Derrick plays at, I love that pace,” Toppin said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “We played at that pace all year when I was at Dayton, just running up and down. I feel like when we get the ball out in transition, it’s hard to stop us. Every time we get a rebound, we look for Derrick, we look for Quick (Immanuel Quickley) and we’re running the floor as fast as we can. We’ve got the young legs.”
To be clear, Toppin wasn't referring to Rose when he said “young legs.” The former MVP winner is no spring chicken. Nevertheless, Rose can still keep up with the best of them, which has been quite evident in his first few games in New York.
For his part, Toppin hasn't exactly seen a dramatic increase in his production since Rose arrived, but he appears to have gained more confidence when playing with the veteran on the court.
This is one of the primary reasons why the Knicks decided to bring Rose back to the Big Apple. The three-time All-Star is well aware of the mentorship role he is expected to play, and he's been more than willing to do the same.