It's a good thing second year point, Toney Douglas, wasn't playing this well a month ago.
It might have predated his being draped in Denver powder blue about now—another casualty of the Nugget purge of young Knick talent residual to New York's recent acquisition of Western Conference stars Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
Coming off last nights hot shooting 20 point performance everything about Douglas' game has looked crisp over the past couple of weeks.
The turnovers are down, the drives to the hoop purposeful. Douglas' recent three point shooting spate has been uncanny, and all season long he has been one of the few Knicks to consistently compete on the defensive side of the ball.
Should the emergence of the soon to be 25 year old's game be something more than an extended mirage the Knicks rather suddenly find themselves deep in backcourt riches with the exceeding potential to border on something very special.
To a large part the group will be led by the veteran, Billups, who in a short sampling before being sidelined with a bruised left hip, looked to be about the same player who earned huge props in Detroit and Denver as one of the games most amply loaded weapons—particularly in the kind of critical fourth quarter moments that require as many able hands on deck as a team can possibly muster.
Rather than hit a rookie wall, 6-7 Stanford grad, Landry Fields, continues to raise his level of play, shoot the ball well, slash to the hoop, rebound and defend.
These three, Douglas, Billups & Fields, along with the veteran throw in Anthony Carter—who's still able to defend the perimeter in an utterly hard nosed way—pose problems for the opposition like no New York backcourt has since the Van Gundy days of Latrell Sprewell and Alan Houston.
The vast space they are able to create on the hardwood have already begun to result in one on one looks to the hoop for the combination of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony and if last night was any indication—the Knicks new M&M combo joined for 65 points, 24 of 31 from all over the field—that'll be cause for chalkboard concern for even the most stout defensive sides the NBA has to offer.
And the youngster Toney Douglas more so than ever figures to be a big part of that.
Not only in 2011 but very likely beyond where only a couple of weeks ago a heaping of New York hype spoke upon a near requisite need for the Knicks to top off their recent acquisitions with New Orlean's aching to be free Chris Paul or the Nets recently acquired ball distributor, Deron Williams.
If the recent 'Melo drama is any indication those PG pickings may not be so easy to come by and a fast improving version of Toney Douglas can help to ease any concerns on that front.
It's just a good thing for the Knicks T.D. picked just the right time to start playing so well.
Otherwise we might be reading about his sudden emergence in Denver's Rocky Mountain Post.
Just the quickie for now,
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