We've heard the stories about the improvements of the different players up and down the New York Knicks' roster since the emergence of Jeremy Lin, but it appears Toney Douglas has seen the opposite happen to him.
During the Knicks seven-game winning streak, I noticed Douglas sitting on the bench every game. In fact, he hadn't logged a single minute since the three minutes of action he saw against the Utah Jazz. Last night in the blowout win against the Sacramento Kings, there was a seven-minute long Douglas sighting.
There might be one of two possible solutions to Douglas' lack of playing time:
1. He is nursing an ailing shoulder that needed rest.
2. He is in the Mike D'Antoni doghouse.
For Douglas' sake, let's hope the first option of the two is the actual reason. You can ask guys like Eddy Curry, Nate Robinson and countless others what it's like to be in the D'Antoni doghouse. It's a place that many have been, but few have left.
So why would he be in the doghouse? It might be the fact that Douglas failed at his original assignment: running the Knicks' offense as the team's point guard. Douglas quickly proved that his timid approach and scoring-first mentality wasn't going to get the job done no matter how much D'Antoni "believed" in him before the season started.
Add onto that the fact that the scoring-first aspect of his game wasn't working out either. Douglas was seeing regular minutes before Lin's arrival and was not only giving an inconsistent nightly scoring output, he was shooting at a horrid 31 percent clip while stinking it up from beyond the arc at 23 percent.
Douglas has become a "point guard" who can't distribute, drive to the hole or shoot from the perimeter. That is all the makings of an entrant into the D'Antoni dog house. And, in my opinion, that's where Douglas is residing at the moment.
As for the reason Douglas has been awful this season? That answer lies only in the mind of Douglas. Surely he was having his issues before Lin took his job and switched places with him on the bench, so it can't be that.
Could it be the shoulder? Clearly he's been healthy enough to play significant time so far this season, at least until February began. And Douglas would not have been on the floor at all last night, especially in garbage time, if he wasn't healthy.
Douglas will help give the Knicks some depth off the bench, but as of right now, thanks to Lin and Douglas' own disappointing play, he will have no role on this team. His coach doesn't trust him, and who can blame D'Antoni? Douglas has been erratic at best and out of all the Knicks perimeter players, he has performed the worst by far.
Even Mike Bibby has seen more minutes lately (18 last night) and that spells complete disaster for Douglas.
It's not certain at this point if Douglas will fit into the Knicks' future plans or if he could be trade bait at the trade deadline. Douglas might have some real value on the market, though I'm not sure what the Knicks would be looking for him in return.
One thing is for certain: Douglas will remain in the doghouse for the foreseeable future, and there will be no coming back for him after that.
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