Going to start with our longest tenured Knick (wow…lol). Coming off a sophomore season in which he solidified his role as a solid defender and a streaky shooter, many Knicks fans had high hopes for him. After amnestying Chauncey Billups before the season started (to make room to get Tyson Chandler), the keys to the offense were given to Toney Douglas. What wouldToney Douglas do (WWTD)? He would do what Toney Douglas do (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVl2QfGR16k).
As I previously mentioned, Toney was viewed as a solid defender and a streaky shooter prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season — two things he proved, again, in this past season. Douglas also managed to show every fan in the league that he is 100% NOT a point guard.
Douglas started the year as starting point guard for Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks and ended it as an end of the rotation player for Mike Woodson. Under D’Antoni’s point guard friendly system, Toney struggled…a lot. He would miss open cuts, would pick up his dribble early in the clock, did a terrible job at running the pick and roll, would take shots that he should not have been taking, and would get burned on defense by insisting on running into every screen (which eventually caused him to injure both shoulders.” If someone really wanted to, he/she could try and argue that D’Antoni’s offense requires smart point guards (Nash, for example). I would then point out that even Chris Duhon was able to put up good statistics under D’Antoni — well…there goes the “intelligent point guard” argument.
What this past season showed us is that Toney Douglas is not a point guard. Can he handle the ball for 2-3 minute stretches while the play develops around him (i.e., screens for a Kyle Korver/Rip Hamilton type player)? Yeah, sure. But that’s about as far as I would go. His inability to create for others and unwillingness to go into the paint makes him an undersized shooting guard that can make opposing point guards uncomfortable.
Next year, when he and Iman Shumpert are both fully healthy (probably sometime in January), I would not be against trying out that backcourt for a few minutes here and there (so long as we have shooters/scorers around them) — it would be a nice defensive backcourt.
I would give Toney a “C-”/”D” for the season. A low grade for a poor season performance. Obviously I cannot fault him for his injuries (although, like I said before, running directly into every screen was just plain stupid), he looked worse than he did last year. His decision making on offense and defense was worse, he was missing shots he usually makes, and he just did not look comfortable.
I would like him to work on his handle and jump shot in the offseason. Those are really the only two things he can do to improve his game — you cannot improve court vision and BBIQ comes with more playing time/experience. Watching game film and studying players’ tendencies would also be great –> knowing who to go over screens on, who to go under on, etc.
His 2012/2013 salary is 2,067,880 and is worth it even if he improves only slightly. Next year is a make or break year for him with the Knicks holding a team option for the following year, so he should be working hard all summer long on his game.
38 games, 17:18 mpg, 32.4% FG%, 23.1 3% Point FG%, 84.6 FT%, 1.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 TPG, .8SPG, and 6.2 PPG. I do not like judging people off of raw statistics (much rather actually watch them play and see how they impact the game), but it is easy to tell that he did not have a good season.