As the day goes by, I find myself believing more and more in this course of action. LOL if you want - I don't care.
With Amar'e out, Melo moves to the 4, and we have an improvement in power forward scoring, and also likely an improvement in defense and rebounding from that position. Silver lining people!
And If we go by our regular season Amar'e-less lineup, Landry Fields moves to the 3. He's now guarding LeBron James instead of Dwayne Wade. Landry can't guard either one of those guys. Neither can anyone else, really. From the 3 spot, at least Landry may be able to get some rebounds. But though Landry is a nice intangibles glue guy, he's not a particularly talented defender and his broken shot gives him nothing to work with being guarded by Bosh or LeBron. He can make nice cuts if someone knew how to hit him, but I'm not really seeing that.
So I say Landry might not play a ton of minutes. Novak's another option that should play because he's at least got a weaponized shot. But he's still a minus defender and rebounder. J.R. Smith can also spend some time at the three and has shown some ability to compete on the D end and hit contested shots. There are some decent 2/3 combos here, but if you go with a 2/3 rotation of Fields/Smith/Novak, you don't have an option in which you can have decent defenders at the 2 and 3.
That's why I say it's time to take a chance on Toney. And I think the best way to do this is to have him start alongside Baron Davis in order to keep J.R. in his familiar bench role.
We all know Toney's no point guard, but he does have experience bringing the ball up - and that might help the Knicks keep the ball moving if the Heat pressure Baron or Bibby. But by pairing Toney with Baron, we leave no doubt as to who is the primary point guard. For the first 25 years of his life Toney could score the ball. I strongly feel that Toney just never got into a good groove post lockout. But you know - you know - that Toney's been working hard behind the scenes... because it's What Toney Douglas Do. Toney could conceivably hit a bunch of shots and stretch the floor. With a Davis - Toney - Fields - Melo- Chandler lineup, the Knicks have 3 outside threats. If Toney can hit some outside shots, and then they bring in Novak for Fields, the Knicks suddently have 4 guys capable of hitting 3's. If they bring in Smith for Fields, the Knicks also have 4 shooters and 2 decent defenders.
Basically the idea is that Toney replaces Shump in the Amar'e Bulging Disk lineup of Baron / Shump / Fields / Melo / Chandler. Toney's not the defender Shump is..... and he seems to have lost some of his mojo there. But he used to be a good defender. He's got some experience guarding Wade. He's got playoff experience from last year. And he might be able to hit 3 pointers better than Shump would. And I like the idea of Toney and J.R. Tag teaming Wade and keeping an energetic body on him for 48 minutes.
I think the key in engineering a successful Toney Douglas appearance is to keep him at the 2 guard at all times, either with Baron or Bibby. Take the decision making pressure off him and tell him to defend and hit open shots.