I don't know how many of my fellow Laker fans follow other teams, but there has been a recent changing of the guard in the NBA, and it involves the Lakers.....in a convoluted way....
As an avid fantasy basketball enthusiast, I try to watch as many basketball games as I can in my free time. Sadly, I haven't had this free time in a while, but have had time to check up on some box scores. Recently I noticed a new name pop up on my radar: Toney Douglas
If the name doesn't sound familiar, think again. He is the player the Lakers drafted at #29 in the first round of the 2009 Draft. The very same player we promptly traded to the New York Knicks for a second-round draft pick in 2011 and $3 million. And it is this very same player that has been handed the keys to the Mecca of Sports or more fondly known as the Garden.
In the 3 games since he was made starter of the Knicks, Douglas has put up some impressive numbers. Sure it maybe due to the D'Antoni system, his numbers are impressive none-the-less for a rookie.
3/13 @. Jason Kidd/DAL Douglas has 21pts on an impressive (8-10 FG, 4-4 3PT) with 8 assists and held the walking Triple-Double Jason Kidd to a mere 15 pts/6Asts
3/15 @ Phi Douglas had 20 pts (7-13 FG, 2-6 3PT) with 7 assists while outplaying Philly's Jrue Holiday
After the Phi game, D'Antoni had this to say of Douglas "When Toney was on the court, we played a lot better. He hit a big 3-pointer for us and played with a lot of energy." This was after the Knicks managed two impressive road wins.
And finally, we get to the game that inspired me to write this article:
3/17 @ Bos Douglas had 11 pts (5-13 FG, 1-6 3PT) 3 Ast, 3steal, 7 rbs
Okay so he didn't have a great shooting night, but Fisher would kill to have a game like this these days. What I found even more impressive however was what he was able to hold Laker Killer (Fisher/Farmar/Brown Killer) to only 5 pts! The Killer I speak of his of course Boston Celtics guard, Rajon Rondo. Sure Rondo had 12 dimes to his credit, but having watched Rondo burn the Lakers backcourt time and again, I would love to see someone be able to keep Rondo to 5 points any day vs. the Lakers.
I haven't yet gotten to see Douglas play, but man, seeing some of these stat lines are certainly exciting (sad) to see since he very well could have been our future PG. I know its hard to get an idea of a players true abilities from box scores, but it's certainly refreshing to see opponent PG stats un-inflated by Erek Fisher's efense... yes I left the D out on purpose.... whatcha gonna do about it?!!?
Have any of you out there gotten to see Douglas play? Did the Lakers blow it by trading him away similar to how the Blazers blew it by trading Jermaine O'neal? Did we trade a future All-star?