So, the word is in that Nate Robinson will miss up to two weeks with a sprained right ankle. The loss of Nate's off-the-bench boost will hurt, no doubt, but I see a silver lining on this cloud. If Mike D'Antoni sees things like I do, he'll hand Nate's minutes directly to Toney Douglas and tell him to live large with no regrets. The pace of Knicks basketball has been terribly underwhelming through their first three games. The guards aren't hounding ballhandlers and jumping passing lanes like they were in preseason, which puts a crimp in fast-break opportunities. On the other end, fear of the entry pass and the drive-and-kick seem contagious. New York could use a shot of gumption from the point guard spot.
It sounds silly to nominate a rookie for that role, but I've got borderline criminal confidence in Toney. He showed in preseason that his possession-busting defensive skills are 7SoL-friendly, and he's ballsy enough to make the big-time pass on offense. Moreover, Toney's strength and scoring ability should draw help and open up the arc for the Knick gunners to catch and pull in rhythm.
Toney will have his lumps. He's foul-prone and will likely turn the ball over more than we'd like. Those are the type of problems that get ironed out with experience, though. With Nate off his feet, what better time to get that experience than now? The moment is right to let Toney Douglas do what Toney Douglas do. I don't think he'll disappoint.
Your thoughts? Given his performance on Saturday, one could reasonably argue that Larry Hughes deserves the brunt of the back-up point guard minutes. I'd buy that, but I still think there's time for Toney. Anybody disagree?
Update, via Berman: "We're fine," D'Antoni said. "I wanted to play Toney anyway. Now that Larry is settled, we're pretty deep. We can overcome that."