Toney Douglas is inconsistent.
What a profound statement.
Toney Douglas has been taking on a lot of criticism by Knick fans as of late based on his see-saw performance. Let me attempt to put things in perspective.
TD was the 29th pick of the first round. To me, he might as well been a second rounder. Its close enough. The reason I make that point is what do you expect out of a second year player who was the 29th pick?
If you’re expecting him to a be Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford or Vinny “Microwave” Johnson type of 6th man, it’s just not fair.
Toney plays hard. Extremely hard. But there is youth and inexperience that surely cannot be ruled out. He is bound to make mistakes and bad decisions. We will have to live through it. Its part of the learning curve as a young NBA player.
I feel TD can be a crucial part of this team off the bench. It will take time though. How much time? That depends on the job the coaching staff does with him and the amount of opportunity given to him. I can almost bet he’s been given too much too soon in terms of opportunity. He has been given opportunity out of necessity.
He’s been asked to do a job that he is quite frankly not capable of. Being the backup PG and most important player off the bench. He’s not ready for that role.
That does not make him a bad player or a good player. It makes him a great talent that needs to mature into a consistent NBA player. We have seen the flashes of greatness and we have seen the ineptitude to make proper decisions in crucial moments. Welcome to the NBA.
If you look back into the years of Knick past. Charlie Ward is a perfect example. It took him practically 3-4 years to just crack the rotation. Imagine if Charlie Ward was given a 6th man role in his second year? He would have been flushed out the NBA. Charlie Ward ended up doing pretty well for himself in the NBA and for us as a contributor. So imagine what Toney can do considering his natural ability and athleticism vs Charlie Ward.
I’m not saying Toney gets a pass from us for the inconsistent play or the bad plays he makes. I’d love to have a solid backup PG but we don’t and Toney is what we are working with as our key offensive weapon off the bench. What I do suggest is we understand what we have in Toney. A player with great natural instincts, extremely athletic, high energy, and willingness to give to 110% on the court.
Those things cannot be taught. The other things can. We just need to have the patience while he is learning on the job.