New York Knicks: Toney Douglas

If Knicks call, James would be interested

April, 1, 2012
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Mike Woodson doesn't think the Knicks will go after a point guard in the wake of Jeremy Lin's meniscus tear.

"I haven't had a chance to sit down with [general manager] Glen [Grunwald] and [owner) Mr. [James] Dolan and see. My thinking is that we'll probably go with what we have," Woodson said on Saturday. "I don't think there's a whole lot out there right now who will make a big difference for our ball club."

If they changed course and decided to make a run at a veteran on the market, Mike James could be a candidate.

James has been with the Chicago Bulls for three separate 10-day contracts this season. And, according to his agent, he'd welcome a chance to play in New York.

"It's a career-long dream for him," agent Bernie Lee said of James, an Amityville native.

Lee said on Sunday afternoon that he isn't expecting a call from the Knicks. Another name that could pop up if the Knicks decided to go after a veteran is Anthony Carter, who was waived last month by Toronto. Both James and Carter would be eligible for the playoffs. But the Knicks would have to release a player on their roster to make room for either veteran. They currently have 15 players under contract.

Shortly before Linsanity launched on Feb. 4, James was very close to inking a deal with the Knicks. The Knicks likely would have added James if Lin hadn't began his stellar run of play on Feb. 4 against the Nets.

For now, the team will go with Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas as back-ups to Baron Davis.

Guard Iman Shumpert, who is more comfortable at shooting guard and small forward, may see some minutes at point guard. Douglas' minutes have been almost non-existent since Lin emerged, but he did play 10 minutes on Saturday against Cleveland, going 2-for-5 with five points.

At this point in his 13-year career, Bibby is limited to being a stand-still jump shooter.

So, if the options behind Davis don't pan out, the Knicks may look to add a veteran.

James has a history with the Knicks coaching staff.

He played for Mike Woodson in Detroit and has also played for Knicks assistant Jim Todd.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Christmas Countdown: Dominant storyline

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
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Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireSigns point to Toney Douglas being the Knicks' starting point guard on Christmas.
Starting today and continuing through Dec. 23, ESPNNewYork.com will run a series called "Christmas Countdown," examining a hot topic each day that surrounds "your New ... York ... Knicks!" as PA announcer Mike Walczewski says with slight pauses and strong punctuation.

Today's Hot Topic: The team's dominant storyline

No question, right now it centers around the starting point guard position. Can third-year player Toney Douglas, a natural combo guard who led the NBA in 3-pointers made after the 2011 All-Star break (68), become more of a facilitator and better decision-maker?

Keep this in mind: The Knicks still have a two-year, $2.5 million exception to spend. Will they use it on Baron Davis? B-Diddy missed his third straight day of Cavaliers training camp Sunday, with what the team is calling tightness in his lower back, and they have until this Friday to decide whether to use their amnesty rights on him.

However, it's a strong possibility that the Knicks will reserve that money for small forward Shawne Williams, who would return to the team as a solid backup for Carmelo Anthony. Therefore, all signs point to Douglas getting the nod on Christmas, and Mike D'Antoni is confident in that plan. While naysayers are quick to downplay Douglas, based on his erratic play during the Celtics' sweep of the Knicks in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, they overlook that he was suffering from a torn labrum in his right shooting shoulder. D'Antoni says Douglas' drive will enable him to bounce back.

"That playoff experience, although he got hurt, that will help him," he said. "Toney is a very determined young man and is one of the reasons why we can do this. We saw what Toney did when he was out there by himself and he did a great job. He was 4-2 in that six-game stretch [in early March of last season] against really good teams, and we expect more of the same."

In those six games, Douglas averaged 16.8 points and 6.8 assists and made 17 3-pointers (48.6 percent), as the Knicks knocked off the Hornets, Hawks, Jazz and Grizzlies.

While D'Antoni has penciled in Douglas in the first unit, he envisions a three-guard rotation of Douglas, Mike Bibby and Iman Shumpert, with Anthony getting consistent touches bringing the ball up the court and running the pick-and-roll, which he displayed during Sunday's practice.

"I think we're OK," D'Antoni said. "I like the way Shumpert looks and he'll keep getting better, so we've got three [point guards]. Like I said, the ball is going to go through Melo a lot, so there are a lot of options that we have."

Responding to the notion that the Knicks still have a hole at the starting sport, Douglas said, "I don't listen to none of that.

"That's peoples' opinions. Everybody's going to have an opinion. That's how I see it. I just come and work out every day, every morning before practice, and I get better. At the end of the day, it'll show on the court. That's how I am. I'm never worried about it; none of that stuff. My play speaks for itself. I'm going to play 100 percent every time I'm on the floor. Mentally and physically, I'm ready."

During the offseason, while rehabbing his shoulder, Douglas says he studied a lot of film to see how he should best deliver the ball to Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, who are supportive of Douglas starting. Not only is Douglas looking forward to sharing some point guard duties with Melo, who's slated to play more point/forward, but he's excited to extract wisdom from Bibby, a 13-year veteran.

Douglas doesn't want to get wrapped up in whether he's starting or coming off the bench. His focus is winning games, and after the first full practice Sunday, he believes the team has what it takes to win a title.

"We're going to have a fun year -- even off the court," Douglas said. "I can already see the bond, even though we've got two new guys coming in [Tyson Chandler and Bibby]. We're all ready and our goal is not just to make the playoffs; our goal is championship. That's what we're looking forward to."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

D'Antoni, Melo and STAT support Douglas

December, 9, 2011
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NEW YORK -- While Chauncey Billups was back home in Denver, Mike D'Antoni, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire were at the Knicks' training facility on Friday already gearing up Toney Douglas to take over the starting point guard position.

With all signs pointing to the Knicks amnestying Billups and acquiring Tyson Chandler, the team will be left with a big question mark at the starting one. But D'Antoni, who was the first to address the media after the Knicks' first day of training camp, says he's comfortable with Douglas taking on the major responsibility. Not only that, he envisions the team operating like the 1980s Celtics, with Anthony becoming a consistent point-forward like Larry Bird.

"I think the team will look more like an old Celtics team, in the sense of going through Bird a lot, and they had two rangy shooters in the backcourt, [Danny] Ainge and Dennis Johnson," D'Antoni said. "It's just going to change in the sense that I had [Steve] Nash or somebody like that having the ball all the time. Now, Melo will be doing the pick-and-rolls more, and that's a good thing. Melo's one of the best passers we have, and he'll be involved in a lot more running the team. I'm not taking anything away from Toney or Landry [Fields] or [Iman] Shumpert, or whoever's back there. Those guys I have a lot of confidence in and I do know they can make shots and defend, and that's a good place to start."

Anthony, who never imagined Billups being amnestied and considers it a "sad situation" for him personally, is prepared to do whatever it takes to win games -- even if it means handling the rock more. He also has coach's back for his decision to make Douglas the floor general starting on Christmas Day against the Celtics. During Friday's practice, which also included Bill Walker, Andy Rautins and Renaldo Balkman, Melo made sure to let Douglas know that.

"I told Toney today, 'Believe it or not, there's a lot of pressure on you, son.' But we're here with him," Anthony said. "We laughed about that too with him having a lot of pressure on him, but there's a lot of pressure on all of us. I wouldn't say pressure, but a lot of expectations, especially now with Tyson. I just told Toney to just be ready, just be ready when the ball goes up and do what you've got to do. The ball is in his hands."

The transition won't come easy for Douglas. His numbers from last season proved he's more of an undersized shooting guard like the Mavericks' Jason Terry. Case in point: After the 2011 All-Star break, Douglas led the league in 3-pointers made (68). When he took over for the injured Billups in the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics, his distributing flaws showed, and the Knicks' offense struggled to generate offense. When he brought the ball up the court in Game 3 for a total of 37 possessions, that led to seven turnovers, and the Knicks averaged just 0.65 points per play.

But Anthony feels that Douglas learned a lot from playing under Billups, and he took away confidence from Friday just hearing him speak about taking on the challenge of running the team. Stoudemire emitted that same confidence -- even speaking about Shumpert -- and he believes with Douglas at the starting one, the team can still push for a championship. He's also excited about Melo becoming more of a point-forward, which he occasionally was toward the end of last season.

"He's a solid passer," Stoudemire said of Anthony. "I'm pretty sure the more we practice together, the more we build our chemistry, he'll figure out those pocket passes -- those areas where he can drop it off to me. There are areas where he can definitely improve in and become a much, much better all-around player. We're two of the top-five scorers in the league, so we have ways to score the ball with ease. We're phenomenal scorers. Tyson is a great defensive player, so we're going to have a pretty well-balanced team."

But even with all said and done, D'Antoni hinted the Knicks may not be done making moves quite yet.

"I think we'll be fine, I really do," he said. "I think that Glen [Grunwald] will try to better the team in every turn that he can, and if something presents itself, we'll jump all over it. I'm not sitting in here worried about it. I think we improved our team. I think Toney, Shumpert, with the ball going through Melo, we will find ways to be creative and try to make that work."

That creativity could come in the next few days from the front office. Could they lock up Baron Davis if the Cavaliers amnestied him? Would they be able to make a compelling offer to Mike Bibby or J.J. Barea? Chandler hasn't even signed yet, so maybe they could create some wiggle (cap) room. Also remember, Ronny Turiaf is likely gone.

To many, the Knicks starting point guard situation is still not really set.

And D'Antoni said it best: "We'll see."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Douglas: Lockout helped me heal

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
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NEW YORK -- After Carmelo Anthony fielded the most obvious question about Chris Paul, there was one pressing question for Toney Douglas, who was the only other player at the Knicks' training facility on Thursday: How are you feeling?

Douglas, who had right shoulder surgery in May to repair a torn labrum after the Knicks were swept by the Celtics in the first round, said he feels great.

"I'm ready to play tomorrow," said Douglas, who had been experiencing pain since last November.

Not friendly for fans, but fortunately for Douglas, who amazingly still led the NBA in 3-pointers after the 2011 All-Star break (68), the lockout provided more time for the combo guard to patch up.

"[My doctors] don't think it's going to be an issue at all this season," Douglas said. "I really feel good. Even though we had the lockout, I feel like the recovery time really helped me. I feel great, I feel strong. I've been lifting, getting my shoulder stronger. I'm not going to be on the court tentative or laboring, so I'm able to go."

Douglas said following the operation, he was able to return to the court in August. He credited his physical therapist, Robert Panariello, who works at Long Island's Professional Athletic Performance Center, for speeding up his recovery and bulking him up to 205 pounds. Douglas spent time lifting weights to make sure his shoulder was rock solid and doing two-a-days so he'd be in top-notch shape come opening tip-off.

"I've been working out, grinding, offense and defense, staying in shape," Douglas said. "I just want to make sure I don't have any problems with my shoulder, and I can play hard and dive on the floor. I feel like every player should work on everything. You just can't be good at one thing."

Douglas, who attended a couple of the labor talks, said he's not surprised that both sides were able to come to a resolution this soon. Now, he foresees a frantic free agency period, and he knows looking ahead that there will be constant trade rumors involving CP3. But Douglas said he doesn't tune into any of the reports. He realizes it comes with the territory, and his focus is on the court.

"I don't think it will have any effect on me as a player because it's part of the business," Douglas said. "If you're going to play in this league, things are going to happen like that. The only thing I can do is control what I can control, and that's just stay on my grind, working out, being mentally and physically focused on the court every time. I don't read the papers, I don't listen to the TV -- none of that stuff -- even when I was in high school because I just want to stay on one track.

"There are always going to be fans talking too. You're going to hear it all the time. You can't not hear it. It is what it is; it's part of my job. It's just going to be like that every year for each person. At the end of the day, I just feel like I'm going to do what I have to do, and when I step out there on the court I'm going to play hard."

When Christmas Day arrives, Douglas is excited about returning to a rejuvenated form, and teaming up with rookie Iman Shumpert off the bench to form a potent defensive duo. They were once ACC rivals when Douglas was a junior at Florida State and Shumpert a freshman at Georgia Tech.

"When I played against him when he was a freshman, I always told myself, 'He's going to be a good player, even though he was a freshman,'" Douglas said. "Me and him talk all the time about making it difficult for players in the backcourt because we're real athletic and we're defensive-minded players. It's going to be great working with him and I'm looking forward to helping him in every type of way."

Soon, their opponents will dread dealing with passing lanes.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

NFL bro inspires Douglas' determination

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
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Courtesy of Stephanie Douglas
Brothers Toney (right) and Harry Douglas were once backcourt buddies at Jonesboro High (Jonesboro, Ga.). Now, they're the sixth pair of brothers to play in the NBA and NFL.

Day 145 of the NBA lockout arrived this morning, and the prospects of having a season are looking grimmer and grimmer as an antitrust lawsuit sits on the table.

But even with long-term uncertainty casting an ominous shadow over the NBA players, some of them are preparing today as if a new CBA will be ratified at any moment and the opening tip will come later this week.

One of those guys is Knicks combo guard Toney Douglas, who's been unusually focused in his efforts by maintaining a close proximity to the team's training ground.

While many of the Knicks are currently either back in their hometown, temporarily living in Los Angeles or exploring new interests like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Douglas has hardly left New York. He is committed to staying on track with an early morning workout routine at Brewster High (Brewster, N.Y.), only 40 minutes from the Knicks' training facility in Tarrytown.

Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire
Toney led the NBA in 3-pointers made last season after the All-Star break (68).



During the week, Douglas has been focusing on improving his outside shot, ball-handling, conditioning, strength, explosiveness and different offensive moves to get to free throw line more this (potential) season. Not only that, Douglas is pushing through therapy sessions to heal his right shoulder, which was surgically repaired in May after the Knicks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics.

So why the relentless pursuit with almost a fully-cemented wall in front of the players? Three words, "Don't let up," from his older brother of two years, Harry, 27, who is now a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.

"He was in the same situation [during the NFL lockout] and he kept working with his teammates," Toney said. "He told me, 'You never know when a deal can get done. You just want to make sure that you’re always prepared.'"

Harry instilled that persistence in Toney when they were both teens, especially through his physical play on the football field at Jonesboro High (Jonesboro, Ga.). At first, Toney wasn't flattered by Harry's rough behavior with him, but he soon realized the impact it could have on his basketball development, from playing aggressively on offense to defending like a pit bull to diving for loose balls.

That mentality helped Toney excel in high school, flourish at Florida State and become the Knicks' go-to sixth man last season, even while battling an injury that required an eventual operation. Unbeknownst to fans, he was playing through a torn labrum in his shooting shoulder during the latter part of the second half of 2010-11, and he still led the league in 3-pointers made after the All-Star break (68).

"My brother always used to try to bully me because he was the big brother, but he made me tougher and play physical," Toney said. "He loved football because he’s a physical guy. He’d always beat me at the house playing one-on-one and stuff like that. He'd foul me and we’d go back and forth, and my dad used to be like, 'Ya’ll chill out, ya’ll chill out' (laughs). But [Harry] made me a better player and a better person."

Harry also helped Toney stay focused on the court, like having him make a certain number of outside shots and then sink 10 free throws in a row. On the gridiron, Toney, who never padded up competitively in high school but says he can throw "65, 70 yards easily," heaved passes to Harry when he practiced his different routes.

Not only were they were inseparable growing up, also playing baseball and running track, they starred in the backcourt together at Jonesboro High from 2002 to 2004. The "Dynamic Duo," as people would call them, led the Cardinals to back-to-back state championship games in the two years before Harry graduated. While Harry averaged 20.5 ppg, 4.5 apg and 3.0 rpg as a senior, Toney was even better as a junior, averaging 28.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 4.0 apg. From time to time, they'll watch videos of their old games and reminisce how exciting it was -- and how unstoppable they were.

"We used to drive and kick, shoot threes and everything," Toney said. "My brother was very athletic. He would always dunk and we’d do the run-and-gun together. We had a real special moment in high school playing together."

"I know teams used to play a Triangle 2 on me and my brother, but that didn’t work (laughs), especially with him being so good," Harry said. "There were times they would try and put a Triangle 2 on him, put two people on him, and that’s when I scored like 30 points or what not. When a team came out and played man, that definitely didn’t work (laughs). Then if they played zone, he was such a good shooter and had range. He would shoot the ball at NBA range. It was a lot of fun. It was tough for teams to try to stay on both of us."


Associated Press
In 10 games with the Falcons, Harry has already surpassed his stats from his two previous seasons (29 catches, 383 yards).



While they were swishin' and dishin', Toney and Harry talked about taking their collective talents to the same college campus -- in fact, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was recruiting Harry for basketball -- but they were both too involved in their respective sports. At one point, though, it came close to happening when they were underclassmen.

"My brother’s junior year, my senior year of high school, he committed to Auburn," Harry said. "When I committed to Louisville for football, and [head coach] John L. Smith left and went to Michigan State, I actually was going to go to Auburn and play football and basketball. But [head coach] Bobby Petrino went to Louisville, so that’s why I just stayed."

Their commitment to their craft paid off. The Knicks made Toney the 29th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, and Harry was selected in the third round by the Falcons in 2008. The Douglases became only the sixth set of brothers to play in the NBA and the NFL. Coincidentally, with Toney coming off his best season, averaging 10.6 points and only missing one regular-season game, Harry is now having his best campaign. In 10 games so far, he has 29 receptions for 383 yards, and in Week 10 he had a career-high eight catches for 133 yards. He's just awaiting his first touchdown of the year.

"I’m so proud of him and his work ethic," Toney said. "That’s one reason why my work ethic the way it is, him being a big brother to me, telling me a lot of things. When he first got into the league, and I was in college, he prepared me with my work ethic, even though he played football. He told me, 'Always stay humble.' He wants to become the best player that he can be. I take that from him."

Typically during the fall, because they're both in season, they only see each other a couple of times and not during the holidays because one of them has a game. But they make sure to talk and text every day. Not surprising, it's usually Harry who is the one still giving advice. For 11 a.m. Knicks practices during the days Harry has a game, Toney makes it a priority to get to the team's training center at 8:30 to shoot around and not after, so he won't miss the Falcons' opening kick-off.

But now, since Toney is in lockout mode, he's been able to hang out with Harry down in Atlanta more often. In fact, Toney has attended a couple of his games along with their father, Harry Sr., mother, Stephanie, and older sister, Jamila, 29.

Because of the NFL schedule, Harry has more ample time to watch Toney in person, and he becomes a regular at MSG come January -- unless, of course, the Falcons are fighting for a Super Bowl appearance. This past NBA season, Toney really impressed Harry by sticking to the older bro's blueprint.

"I think, the first thing, he is a focused person. And me being so close to him, I know he works hard," Harry said. "When you look at him play, he’s not just an offensive player; he’s a defensive player. He can score, he can play defense, he can get assists, he can rebound; everything you need on the basketball court, he can do it. It’s very rare you find a player who can score just as well as he plays defense."

Toney knows fans are aching to see the upgraded Knicks return to the newly-renovated Garden, but he also knows he may never have this extended time again in his career to be with his brother. Even though they have polar-opposite personalities (Toney is quiet, while Harry is outgoing), they say their differences balance out well when they're together, and sometimes they still get mistaken for twins. Most importantly, they call themselves "best friends," and even though Harry was the instiller, they both were big believers -- in each other.

"A lot of people actually didn’t believe in me and my brother, but we always believed in each other," Harry said. "We always worked hard and we knew that one day the hard work had to pay off somewhere. It was fortunate that we both were able to make it to the professional level and play our sport, and we just thank God every day for it."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Douglas making presence felt in New York

November, 10, 2011
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On Tuesday, Roger Mason Jr. wasn't the only Knick at the labor talks, where every team, except for the Celtics, had a player rep in attendance. While Mason Jr. served as the NBPA vice president, his teammate Toney Douglas was the Knicks member.

Douglas was also planning to go to yesterday's meeting, but wasn't able to make it. He did say that if the negotiations continue, he'll plan to be at more of them.

"I love being in there and seeing what's going to happen with the NBA," said Douglas, who has occasional conversations with Mason Jr. to get updates when he's not there. "I've learned a lot. This is my future too, seeing what's going on with the NBA. Knowing that possibly the next 10 years is how the deal is going to be, it's real important for me to be at these meetings and learn stuff, and see what's going on."

Not only has Douglas been a recent union participant in New York City, he's been spending his on-the-court time nearby as well. Douglas, who isn't currently exploring overseas options, has been training early in the mornings at Brewster High (Brewster, N.Y.), which is about 20 minutes from his house. He's been working on his shot, ball-handling, conditioning, getting stronger and more explosive, and different offensive moves to get to free throw line more this (potential) season.

Most importantly, the lockout has given him more time to rest and heal his right shoulder, which underwent labrum surgery in May after the Knicks were swept by the Celtics in the first round. Except for a week-long summertime trip to Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, Douglas has been taking advantage of the relaxation close to home.

"Even though I'm still working out like crazy with my shoulder and conditioning, it's just taking advantage of this type of time," Douglas said, "because once the season starts, we'll be rolling. I never had this type of time -- I'm always used to doing something -- but I'm resting my body and making sure everything is right physically with me. I'm feeling great. Each day I'm getting better and better. When we do start, I will be ready to go."

He'll have to be, because the players may have to report to their teams within two days of the lockout being resolved. And optimism is growing fast from Lockoutville.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Toney 'X-Man' Douglas' playoff diary, Day 5

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
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With Chauncey Billups listed as day-to-day for Game 3 with a left knee strain, Toney Douglas may very likely have to take the reins at point guard, once again. In his latest ESPNNewYork.com playoff diary entry, TD looks back on his first-ever playoff start, going head-to-head with Rajon Rondo and what he anticipates the atmosphere to be like in the Knicks' first home playoff game since 2004.

First of all, how are you feeling after Game 2, and what's the latest with Amare and Chauncey?
I feel good -- ready for Game 3 at the Garden. Amare and Chauncey are working hard to get back on the court. They're very important to our success. They're veteran players, so we know they are focused. I'm hoping they can go tomorrow, but if not, the rest of us just have to step up that much more. We'll have to play our hearts out like we did in Game 2 and leave all our effort out there on the floor.

Assess how you played in Game 2 and what are you working on to prepare for Game 3?
We all have some things to work on after Game 2. Today we watched a lot of film and worked on our team defense. I just have to focus on staying aggressive and setting the tone on the defensive end from the start of the game. Also, I don't want to make any little mistakes; pay attention to detail. Boston is a team that will go on runs and jump ahead of you quick, so I just want to keep my composure for 48 minutes.

What's it like guarding Rajon Rondo for an entire game? What makes him so dangerous?
I have to watch him in transition mainly; that's where he gets most of his points. All of us have to get back up the court quickly, even it's just so he sees bodies in front of him. That will slow him down from thinking about pushing the ball up the court. We all just need to stay focused on playing team defense. That doesn't just go for Rajon Rondo; that goes for the whole team.

Fans got to see a special performance from Carmelo in Game 2. But what was it like being on the court with him, seeing what he did? Was that one of the best individual games you've seen in person?
It felt good being out there with Carmelo. He's one of the greatest players in the NBA, especially finishing games. He played his heart out. Even though he had 42 points and 17 rebounds, he also had six assists. Even though he was tired, and we knew it, he gave it his all.

Compare your first two playoff games to what you predict tomorrow night.
It will be like night and day. We'll be on our home court. That's something I'm really excited for. 20,000 screaming New Yorkers will be like having a sixth man on the court. It will be great to get that support from our crowd that Boston was getting from their crowd Games 1 and 2.

How do you envision the environment being at the Garden?
Electric, exciting. I can't wait to play at MSG. This is going to be a very unique experience. It's the first playoff home game in [seven] years, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect. It will be a surprise for us as players and the fans.

Before Game 2, Mike D'Antoni compared your speedy style of play to a "waterbug." What do you think about that analogy?
Well, I'm not really even sure what that means [laughs].

What's the best nickname you've heard from a fan? Right now, I'm going with "X-Man" because in my opinion you're the team's No. 1 X factor.
Thanks man, that's a great compliment. It feels good to know that people think I'm a key to this team's success. I just have to make sure that I go out there and am ready to perform tomorrow night.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Toney 'X-Man' Douglas' playoff diary, Day 3

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
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With Chauncey Billups listed as doubtful for Game 2, Toney Douglas may very likely get the call to start at point guard. In his latest ESPNNewYork.com playoff diary entry, Douglas looks back on his first-ever playoff game and shares how he and the team are preparing for tonight.

How was your first playoff experience?
It was a great experience, knowing that the atmosphere is going to be crazy. There's a lot of stuff to prepare for; it's totally different than the regular season -- big playbooks, more film sessions, longer shootarounds and practices -- and every detail is real important.

What were your emotions like when you were walking to the scorer's table, about to check into the game?
I'm glad I seized that moment. It was a great experience. I always, when I was a kid, wanted to play in the playoffs. Being my second year in the league, I got there and it's a great accomplishment for us as a team. I just gotta seize the moment and take advantage of the opportunity, and do what I have to do to help the team win.

Did you hear the Knicks fans in the arena?
Yeah, I hear them. But i just try to keep my mind mentally focused, turn my phone off and just study -- a lot of film so I can have an edge and an advantage over my opponent.

You guys did a great job defensively in Game 1, especially in that second quarter, forcing them into six turnovers. What do you credit that success to?
Our defense is going to be key for this whole series -- keep that same defense or even better. If everybody is locked in and focused on the one page then we'll be fine. We're going to make some mistakes, but at the end of the day, it's the playoffs; we won't have a lot of margin for error.


The pick-and-roll is an NBA staple and the Celtics defend that play well. What do you take away from their P&R defense in Game 1 that will help you create more space for yourself on the perimeter and find your shot in Game 2?
We gotta move the ball. We can't just hold the ball with them; they're a good defensive team -- all five [starting] players. So if we move the ball and play with each other, we'll be fine.

How are you overall preparing for tonight?
Watching a lot of film, a lot of film. I'm going to go back to the [hotel] room, watch film and study the playbook and player personnel -- just in case I get switched out on Paul [Pierce], [Ray] Allen or [Rajon] Rondo; what they like to do, their tendencies. That's one thing I learned from Chauncey. I learned a lot from him. Having an edge over your opponent is going to be real key.

How about Anthony Carter, your other veteran point guard? What have you learned from him?
Oh, he talks a lot. He's a leader out there, on the court or even on the bench, especially on the defensive end. He makes sure that we get it right, and that's a person I look up to and I listen to him too. I listen to everybody. Just because I'm a second-year player, my teammates even listen to me. It doesn't matter that I'm young because there are some things out there I can see that they don't see, and that we can get better at too.

From December to April during the regular season, you increased your scoring every month, and when you started in Chauncey's eight-game absence, you played well, averaging 13.6 points and 5.8 assists. How have you been able to progress so fast in your second year in the league?
I stay in the gym. I'm a gym rat. Every morning for practice at 11, I wake up at 7:30. I work out on the court for an hour, do conditioning, lift weights, do a lot of core stuff and at night I come back and get shots up. I need repetitions. I've always been a player where I can miss six in a row, but I'll shoot the next one like I made it because I'm confident enough that I can make that shot. And my teammates and my coaches have confidence in me. I'm never going to get down on myself because at the end of the day, all it takes is one shot to go in, one free throw, something to get my rhythm going.

So are you ready to start tonight if need be?
Yes, I'm ready, no matter what -- if I come off the bench or even if I start. I've prepared my mind and my body for every situation that happens, so I'm prepared for it. I'm ready to take on the challenge and play defense [on Rondo], and do whatever I need to do to help the team win.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Toney 'X-Man' Douglas' playoff diary, Day 1

April, 17, 2011
4/17/11
6:34
PM ET
While Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups will soak up most of the attention in the first round, Toney Douglas' recent hot shooting and one-on-one defensive skills will be key in order for the Knicks to upset the Celtics and Rajon Rondo's playmaking. Throughout the series, Douglas, the team's main X factor, will give ESPNNewYork.com insights into how he and the team are sizing up the Cs. Here's Part 1.

How's the playoff vibe so far?
It's been fine. I had a good shootaround this morning. I feel like everybody is ready and prepared for the game tonight.

How are you personally preparing to go up against Rondo and Delonte West? You excel in the pick-and-roll with getting your shot off, but they're one of the best teams in the league at defending that play.
Just look at every option. They are a good defensive team, and they're a team that loads up and helps each other. We obviously have to move the ball and run, and play our game. I've studied a lot of film on the guy that I'd be guarding.

What holes in the Celtics' offense and defense are you looking to expose?
On defense, make sure every shot be a tough shot and you've got to guard Ray Allen. Rondo's really good at passing the ball and finding people, and [we have to] rebound the basketball and run. We'll be fine if we do that.

Since the All-Star break, you led the league in 3-pointers made (68). What do you credit that success to, and what do Melo and Amare do differently to get you more open looks?
I've got to credit my teammates, Amare and Melo. They create a lot of opportunities for me, having so many double teams and stuff like that. The main thing I always do is stay confident when I shoot, no matter if I'm having a bad shooting night, or staying confident knowing that I'd be in the gym, working all the time and I can hit shots.

What advice has Chauncey given you, especially to prepare for your first postseason appearance?
He means a lot, especially about just being a smarter player. It's not always about being faster and more athletic; it's becoming smarter. He's helped me a lot since he's been here and I'm just looking forward to all the wisdom and advice he gives me. Even when I'm on the bench, I watch him.

How has your one NCAA tournament appearance in 2009 maybe helped you adjust to this playoff atmosphere?
It's the NCAA tournament; it's a big stage. I didn't change anything that I hadn't been doing. Of course, I watch film even during the regular season. It's a big game, but I've just got to keep my poise and just do what I've been doing.

How did you develop your patented floater?
I work on it a lot because in this league there are a lot of shot blockers, so you gotta make sure you get it off. I just gotta keep working on it. This summer, I have to make sure I work on a lot more stuff.

I know you rock the adidas Pro Model sneakers. Will you be debuting a playoff version tonight?
I'm going to rock the same ones I've been wearing [black and blue]. I feel comfortable in them.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Billups: Toney's confidence at all-time high

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
12:17
AM ET
There's a 16 percent chance Toney Douglas will score at least 19 points in a game. But, hey, when he does, the Knicks are really good -- 75 percent-winnable good. They're 9-3 this season when he's reached that mark.

Tonight against the Raptors, Douglas scored a team-high 28 points (his seventh time leading the way in scoring this season), behind another a team-high: 6-of-9 shooting from downtown. Sparked by his 66.7 percent outside shooting, the Knicks connected on 15 threes (fourth-most in a game this season), improving to 26-7 when hitting at least 10, 16-4 with at least 12 and 6-0 with at least 15.

Now, while we can't expect TD to reach end zone-numbers more than three times a game, his double-digit contributions will be key to the Knicks' success this postseason. When defensive traps are thrown at the Knicks' Big Three, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups, and in the likely event that Landry Fields is not an offensive threat, Douglas will have to be the Glen Rice (sixth man of the 2001 Knicks playoff team) of this year's squad.

In the locker room after the game, Mr. Big Shot said the sky's the limit for Douglas right now.

"I just think his confidence is at an all-time high," Billups said. "I try my best to keep him playing that confident. I want him to always play like he's starting -- to go out there and have that starters-type of swag where you feel like you're better than the next guy. You have to understand that it's not saying it; it's just going out and having that confidence and that aura about yourself, and I think right now he's doing that and he's feeling that as well."

Billups said that momentum is everything in the postseason -- no matter if a team's at home or on the road. So it's a special topping for the new-look Knicks that Douglas has already found his groove before the regular season finale. In fact, since the All-Star break, he leads the league with the most 3-pointers (59) and he's only had three bagel games from beyond the arc.

Douglas has also improved his playmaking, a big concern of Mike D'Antoni's earlier in the season. Before the All-Star break, the most assists he had in a game was seven (just once). Since then, he's had five games with seven or more, including an 11- and 10-dish night.

Now if only the Knicks could hold an opponent to under 100 points, which they didn't do for the third straight game against a bottom-of-the-barrel team.

That's the bigger picture looking ahead.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Toney, It's gotta be the shoes!

March, 18, 2011
3/18/11
2:29
PM ET
Last night against the Grizzlies, the Knicks donned green uniforms to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and, boy, did that green mean everything. The Knicks were money from downtown, winning big 120-99 and returning to their March 17th winning ways. They're now 4-3 in St. Patty's Day games since 2000. Previous games include:

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Toney Douglas brandishing those bright green kicks against the Grizzlies



2010 -- 109-97 loss vs. Boston
2008 -- 110-98 loss vs. Indiana
2006 -- 105-103 win vs. Detroit
2002 -- 104-99 loss vs. Cleveland
2001 -- 101-80 win vs. Chicago
2000 -- 118-99 win vs. Charlotte

The Knicks couldn't have made history last night, connecting on a franchise-record 20 3-pointers, without Toney Douglas' marksmanship -- and, of course, his green adidas Pro Model sneakers.

"I love that color," Douglas told The Associated Press. "I had two days of practice in them and everybody was like, 'Wow, those are really loud shoes.' They’re special shoes now."

Douglas scored 29 points off the bench, thanks to his nine 3s, which tied John Starks and Latrell Sprewell for most in a game by a Knick. Sprewell did it twice and Starks accomplished that feat on January, 29, 1998, against the Bucks. Douglas' backcourt teammate, Chauncey Billups, went for nine in a game once with the Nuggets on February, 5, 2010, against the Lakers.

Here are some other notable stats from Douglas' performance:
  • He was the third player to hit that mark this season, joining Denver's J.R. Smith (9-of-16 on March 12) and Golden State's Dorell Wright (9-of-12 on November 27).
  • He was the 45th player in NBA history to make nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
  • Those 45 players' teams have posted a 31-14 record (.689) in those games.
  • 17 of the 45 players shot 75% or better (Douglas was 9-of-12; 75%).
  • He was the seventh player listed 6-2 or shorter to make 9+ 3-pointers in a game.

Only 10 players have made 10 or more in a game in NBA history. Kobe Bryant and former Raptor Donyell Marshall share the lead with 12.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Ronny Turiaf on his 11th-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
4:04
PM ET
During CBS Sports' annual Selection Sunday show yesterday, the 24-9 Gonzaga Bulldogs were awarded the 11th seed in the Southeast Regional. They will face the sixth-seeded St. John's Red Storm in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this Thursday on CBS at 9:45 p.m. ET.

I spoke with Ronny Turiaf, who played in Spokane from 2001 to 2005 averaging 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds, to get the scoop on this year's Bulldog squad.

On the team: "Well, first and foremost, I want to say that I'm proud of those guys. The way they battled through adversity throughout the season, where everybody just shot them down, called them dead and called them a whole bunch of names, saying the preseason schedule was too tough. Yes it was, but we still managed to beat opponents and still managed to weather the storm and follow through with it and finish on a high note by beating Saint Mary's at Saint Mary's [89-85 in overtime on February 24] for a share of the conference title [with an 11-3 record], and beating again a Saint Mary's team in the West Coast Conference tournament final [75-63 on March 7]. It's not an easy thing to do to beat a team twice in such a short period of time, so I'm very happy. I can't wait to see if they can make some damage in the tournament."

On Gonzaga making their 13th straight NCAA Tournament appearance: "We are in company of a lot of high-ranked programs. They can talk as bad as they want about the West Coast Conference or whatever, but we still have to go and get those games when the other team is shooting for us every single game."

On NBA legend John Stockton's son, David, playing well as a freshman: "It's awesome. It's priceless. He brought a spark to this team with his feistiness, with his ability to see the floor, to steal balls, to definitely rebound for his size and be able to spread the floor by scoring threes. He's definitely been a spark for us in the second half of the season -- and that's why you see him making plays down the stretch. I guess he has an advantage when you have an All-Star top-50 player's abilities and genes."

Turiaf's teammate, Toney Douglas, who played college ball at Florida State from 2006 to 2009 averaging 16.7 points, was surprised to hear about his Seminoles' 10th seed in the Southwest Regional.

"Oh, for real? I guess it's pretty good," said Douglas, whose former team will face the seventh-seeded Texas A&M Aggies this Friday on TBS at 4:10 p.m. ET. "I haven't really, really looked at college teams like that because I've been so busy. Hopefully they'll win."

Douglas, who was busy starting in Chauncey Billups' six-game absence, said this about his favorite tournament memory: "Just playing in it. Our first game [in the first round against Wisconsin in 2009, which they lost 61-59], I'll always remember that moment. It was a great moment."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 107, Hornets 88

March, 2, 2011
3/02/11
9:59
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Some fans came to the Garden thinking they'd see the Knicks' point guard of the future in Chris Paul. But Toney Douglas thoroughly outplayed the Hornets star in a 107-88 Knicks win.

Starting in place of Chauncey Billups (bruised left quadriceps), Douglas finished with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and four assists. The Knicks outscored the Hornets by 13 in Douglas' 32 minutes. Paul finished with just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and handed out 10 assists; the Hornets were outscored by 19 with Paul on the court.

The Knicks are 3-2 in the Carmelo Anthony Era and may need Douglas to start in place of Billups on Friday night against Cleveland. Billups is questionable for the game.

TURNING POINTS: A two-point Knicks lead quickly grew to 12 late in the second-quarter thanks to six quick points from Anthony and two each from Douglas and starting center Ronny Turiaf. The Hornets helped the Knicks' cause with two turnovers in the 13-3 run. The Knicks coasted after the half, leading by double figures for all but 18 seconds of the final two quarters. It got so bad midway through the fourth that the fans started chanting for a Roger Mason appearance. Mike D'Antoni obliged, and the crowd exploded when Mason hit a three with a little over a minute to play.

DIFFERENCE MAKER: In addition to Douglas, Amare Stoudemire finished with 24 points on 10-of-9 shooting and Anthony had 22, hitting 8 of his 18 shots. Sharpshooter Shawne Williams had 16 points and made four of his six 3-point attempts.

WHAT'S NEXT: If you're curious to see how quickly this team is building chemistry, look no further than Friday night's game home game against the Cavaliers. Last Friday, the Knicks traveled to Cleveland fell to the 11-win Cavs in embarrassing fashion. They were outrebounded by 20 and looked out of synch on offense (41 percent shooting) in a 115-109 loss, their second to the Cavaliers this season. It doesn’t seem like they will have Billups (thigh) available for Friday's home game but they should be able to bounce back against the Cavs, who are 3-27 on the road. The Knicks hit the road to take on the Hawks on Sunday night and return home to play the Jazz on Monday night.

Eddy Curry out sick

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
7:30
PM ET
Eddy Curry missed practice on Tuesday due to an illness, according to a Knicks spokesman. Curry called the team on Monday night to alert them that he was sick. He was told to stay home to avoid passing the illness along to any other players.

Because of his expiring contract, Curry is considered a valuable trade commodity. He is due to make $11.27 million this season and has been mentioned in potential trades between the Knicks and Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony. Curry has been on the inactive list the entire season; he sat the first four games with an injured hamstring but has been healthy enough to play since.

DONNIE ON MEND: Knicks president and GM Donnie Walsh continues to make progress since undergoing hip surgery in mid-November. He returned to the team earlier this month. On Tuesday, he said he is getting closer to regaining the ability to walk without a walker. He watched practice seated in a walker on the sideline.

Walsh had no comment on an ESPN.com report on Sunday that stated Anthony would only sign a three-year, $65 million extension if he is traded to the Knicks.

MINUTE MEN: Raymond Felton and Amare Stoudemire rank in the top 20 in the league in minutes played per game; both average more than 37 minutes a night. Mike D'Antoni said on Tuesday that, in a perfect world, he would cut down on their minutes played. But with the Knicks fighting to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04, he can't afford to sit his stars.

Landry Fields is playing 31.4 minutes per game, the third-highest total among rookies.

D'Antoni said that if the Knicks were a "dead-lock" to make the playoffs he'd sit his starters more often. Instead, he may try to get them a day off between games or shorten practice.

"If they would just start winning by 20 points, then I'd give them the fourth quarter off," D'Antoni said with a smile. "I'll just watch their minutes, watch their body language and adjust as we go on."

KELENNA NOT CLOSE: Shooting guard Kelenna Azubuike worked on his jump shot on a side court while his teammates scrimmaged on another court during Tuesday's practice. Azubuike, who was obtained from Golden State in an offseason sign-and-trade deal for David Lee, has scrimmaged with the Knicks but is not close to being cleared to play by team doctors, according to a Knicks official. Azubuike underwent surgery last November to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. ... Toney Douglas did not scrimmage with the team during the portion of practice open to the media on Tuesday. He was riding a stationary bike. It is unknown if Douglas was held out due to injury.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2