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New York Knicks: Why Toney Douglas Is Key to Knicks' Success

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Toney Douglas #23 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden on January 31, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Mike MoraitisAnalyst IApril 3, 2012

Remember way back when Toney Douglas was a solid guard for the New York Knicks who used to produce off the bench and sometimes in a starting role?

That was before former Knicks' coach Mike D'Antoni sent him to the end of the bench. And while I thought it was a D'Antoni thing, it turns out new coach Mike Woodson doesn't like Douglas any better.

At least not any better than Mike Bibby.

So if I were a betting man, I'd say this has something to do with Douglas himself.

There's no doubt he's an athletic and talented player who is more than capable of defending at a high level. That's the type of player the Knicks have sitting at the end of their bench.

Douglas still has the potential to contribute this season and especially at a time when the Knicks are short at the same position he plays. Granted, he isn't a good point guard but at least Douglas could play the two if necessary.

In the 2010-11 season, Douglas averaged 10.6 points and three rebounds and assists per game. New York would certainly love that production from him off their current bench.

If nothing is going to be done to fill the void through any other avenue, it's absolutely necessary Woodson gets Douglas involved at some point during the stretch run of this season.

Baron Davis simply cannot log enough minutes in a game, and the Knicks can't afford to exhaust all of their other guards in response to that problem.

We'll have to see if the five points in 10 minutes Douglas logged last Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers is a sign of things to come. It appears he'll have to earn the trust of his coaches once again.

By no means is Douglas a certainty even if given a shot. But even Knicks fans know the flashes of great play they've seen from him, and it would be borderline foolish not to give him a chance at a more consistent role.

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