© 2019 American Physical Society. The neutron-rich Ni isotopes have attracted attention in recent years because of the occurrence of shape or configuration coexistence. We report on the difference in population of excited final states in Ni70 following γ-ray tagged one-proton, one-neutron, and two-proton knockout from Cu71, Ni71, and Zn72 rare-isotope beams, respectively. Using variations observed in the relative transition intensities, signaling the changed population of specific final states in the different reactions, the role of neutron and proton configurations in excited states of Ni70 is probed schematically, with the goal of identifying those that carry, as leading configuration, proton excitations across the Z=28 shell closure. Such states are suggested in the literature to form a collective structure associated with prolate deformation. Adding to the body of knowledge for Ni70, 29 new transitions are reported, of which 15 are placed in its level scheme.