Hello, children. I've returned from a blackout-related (the electricity kind) absence, so things should be back to normal around here. No more posting game threads from my dad's iPhone (which is difficult, let me tell you) or begging people to write recaps via owl messenger. Meanwhile, it looks like MSG isn't replaying that mythical Knicks-Mavs game today, so as far as I'm concerned, it never happened and y'all are pulling my chain. (Commence pausing). If anybody knows of a way I can track down that game for watching purposes, let me know. For now, we've got some stuff to talk about. Let's get into it.
Alan Hahn's article from yesterday touches on Toney Douglas' successful return to the starting lineup from the perspective of the man who once held down that spot. Whether or not you like Chris Duhon as a player (and you probably don't), the man's conduct and commitment to the team even from the bench. Du hasn't really been able to execute as Knicks point man, but he's been around and knows the game, and is imparting plenty of wisdom on the Knicks' youngest guard.
"He really helps me out a lot," Douglas said. "Even when I'm on the bench with him . . . I really respect him. He was a starter here and he hasn't been playing, but he still talks to me and everybody and is in the game like he's starting still."
Douglas has an element of his game that Duhon most struggled with: scoring. But Douglas had to learn how to run an offense, how to get others involved and, most importantly in this system, how to effectively run the pick-and-roll, especially with David Lee. Against Dallas, Douglas showed he is starting to figure it out. Along with his 21 points (8-for-10 shooting), Douglas had eight assists with zero turnovers.
"Obviously, he's a natural scorer, so his mind-set is to score," Duhon said. "I want him to stay aggressive, but at the same time, David's open and I just tell him to look for him. And if he's not comfortable throwing it, don't do it. But I just let him know it's there."
Duhon's game clearly wasn't ideal for running the Knicks, but he was an expert at running the pick-and-roll, particularly with David Lee. If Douglas can strike a balance between finding his own points (which he does pretty nicely, I hear) and rewarding cutters, he is at the very least a solid backup point guard.