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Knicks' Obi Toppin excited anticipating Garden debut

Obi Toppin of the Knicks takes a shot

Obi Toppin of the Knicks takes a shot over Jahlil Okafor of the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 11 in Detroit. Credit: Getty Images/Gregory Shamus

Obi Toppin could only remember a handful of times that he’d been at Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game growing up. Even though when he makes his debut as a member of the Knicks at the Garden on Wednesday night, against the Cavaliers, it will be without any fans he has not lost the excitement of being home again.

"It’s going to be amazing," Toppin said. "I’m from here. I’ve been watching the Knicks all my life. My family’s been a fan of the Knicks since I wasn’t even born. Me having an opportunity to step on the court with these guys and compete against another team is going to be amazing. I can’t wait for that time to come.

"I think I’ve been to a couple, no more than five games growing up. But my grandfather on my mom’s side had season tickets and he’d go to every game. You go to dinner with him and he’ll tell you a thousand stories of him going there."

Toppin is actually anxious to get back on any court after struggling through a 1-for-9 shooting performance in the Knicks' loss to Detroit on Sunday. He had played well in the opening game but saw a dip as the Pistons adjusted their defense and he settled for long three-point field goal attempts much of the night.

"I don’t really think it was anything different," the Knicks' rookie said. "I just feel like in the second game I was rushing things a little bit more than I was in the first. I felt settled down (and) calm in the first game. In the second game, I was just trying to basically do too much. I have to understand the pace to the game and just flow with that, do anything I can to help the team.

"I feel comfortable shooting the three. Not super far, not Steph Curry range, but I feel very comfortable shooting the three. My teammates are putting me in spots. I just have to make them. I’m working in the gym every single day so when the time comes for me to make those shots, I’m going to have to make them. I just have to slow down and concentrate."

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