New York Knicks: Why Toney Douglas Should Be Given Another Chance in 2012-13
After struggling through his third season as a New York Knick, point guard Toney Douglas' future at Madison Square Garden is looking increasingly in doubt.
Following the Tyson Chandler trade in December—which required previous starter Chauncey Billups to be amnestied—Douglas went in to the 2011-12 season as the Knicks starter.
But it took only seven games for the former Florida State Seminole to lose his job, after some really poor performances under Mike D'Antoni early in the season.
Typically a good three-point shooter—and the Knicks' record-holder for the most three-pointers in a game with nine—Douglas shot a horrible 23.1 percent from outside, which was worse even than the struggling Mike Bibby.
With the emergence of Jeremy Lin and the return from injury of Baron Davis, Douglas quickly fell out of Mike D'Antoni's rotation, at one point going almost an entire month between appearances.
Once D'Antoni resigned, Douglas started to see some more playing time under new head coach Mike Woodson, but it was clear that he wasn't trusted to run the offense.
This was shown most glaringly when despite injuries to Lin, Davis and Iman Shumpert, Woodson chose instead to use Bibby and even J.R. Smith as the primary ball-handlers in the playoffs.
Douglas played a grand total of eight minutes in the playoffs, making his only field goal attempt and not really having much of a chance to earn his new coach's trust.
Should Toney Douglas be given a second chance next season?
Heading into 2012-13, Douglas is under contract for $2 million, but now that the draft has passed and he's still a Knick, it's worth Coach Woodson giving him another chance next season.
The Knicks are a team that needs three-point shooting, and now that they have a true point guard to run the offence, Douglas can finally be used for just that.
Despite being called a "three-point specialist" and a "shooting guard in a point guard's body", Douglas has never really had the chance to play off the ball, and it makes sense to finally give him that opportunity.
Douglas may be undersized for the two-guard spot, but he plays very tough defence, and could probably handle himself there if given the opportunity.
With Iman Shumpert out until January with a torn ACL, the Knicks need another shooting guard to enter the rotation, and Douglas could be just the man they need.
Back in the 2010-11 season, with Raymond Felton as the starting point guard, Douglas had some rare opportunities to play the two, and was part of a surprisingly good Knicks team early that season.
He ended up with career highs in points and steals, and unsurprisingly only played his worst basketball when he had to back-up Chauncey Billups at the point following the Carmelo Anthony trade.
His struggles last season could also be attributed to the offseason shoulder surgery he had in 2011, but having had a year to recover from that now, he may be more physically ready to perform next season.
Whilst TD may have had a hard time coping with the point guard position last time round, the Knicks now have an opportunity to play Douglas in a situation where he may actually succeed.
And if he's given a chance to "do what Toney Douglas do", he may just have himself a comeback season in 2012-13.
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