Is Toney Douglas Mardy Collins 2?

Steve Adamek warned today that excited Knicks fans should heed the lessons of history and remember that somebody has to get stats on a losing team. I must confess that the first thing I thought of when Bill Walker started impressing us was Qyntel Woods (Jon and I called him good Q. Richardson was bad Q. Then we lost track of which was good Q and which was bad Q). In light of Douglas’ emergence, I, like Adamek, also thought of Mardy Collins, the nightly triple double threat on Isiah’s last team.

Two differences though. The first one is that with Toney playing well, the Knicks are, so far, winning. The Knicks barely won in Collins’ big month. The second, as Jon pointed out to me is that it’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. Here are Collins’ “impressive” numbers (courtesy of ESPN.com):

14 points, 6 assists, 7 boards. Wow. 44 minutes. 39% FG. In those games Collins surpassed the “Per 40″ or “Per 36″ number that is useful in equalizing stats for evaluation purposes. His per 40s were 12, 4 and 5. He also never had a PER higher than 9.54.

Toney’s last 5 games:

14 points, 4 assists, 2.5 boards. Pretty nice for a rookie playing in just 28.2 minutes. If you adjust for minutes played (caveat: I’m not good at math), Douglas has per/40 averages in his last 5 of 17.4 ppg, 5 assts, and 3 boards. He’s also a far better shooter than Collins. And his PER is already a 15.

It is tempting to get excited about guys like Douglas, who appear to be playing so well when the season is in the tank. I was excited about Collins too and to a lesser extent, good/bad Q (Woods). It is also equally easy to dismiss end of season contributions as “somebody need[ing] to score”. The difference though is deeper in the numbers. Compared to Collins, Douglas looks more legitimate.

13 comments

  1. Cee La Rock

    In no way is TD like Mardy…u heard it here first folks….i never liked that pick…TD has a better all around game,handle and D. I think TD is going to be a Knick for sometime.

  2. Dan L

    Yea I think he’s going to be a solid contributor. I’m excited to see if the Knicks can continue to win games with him at the helm.

  3. DG

    Tony D. is much quicker than Mardy. This works to his benefit on both ends of the court. He is more dynamic defensively and he gets to the rim down the lane with speed on Offense.

    Tony also had a better college career. mardy was a solid player on temple. Tony D was defensive player of the year in the ACC and had huge games against the eilite in that league.

  4. Italian Stallion

    I’ve seen examples of players that did a lot of scoring on bad teams that eventually wound up being very mediocre players. But I haven’t seen any examples of players that scored very efficiently on bad teams and then wound up being mediocre. I think only good players can score efficiently. Right now Douglas is scoring efficiently and Walker is off the charts (and has been for awhile).

    I like Douglas a lot because he seems to play well both ways. If he can improve the assist count, we may have a very nice player.

    I think Walker has a lot of potential but he’s going to have to fill out the stat sheet better to become more than just a role player. Right now all he is doing is scoring is scoring efficiently.

  5. CeeLARock

    @ Italian Stallion

    I agree on TD but im not sure on Walker yet what worrys me u score 20 one night then 3 the next? He seems like he will be a solid bench player

  6. EwingOak

    I am high on both of them right now. I just like the energy level that they both can bring. It really all starts right there. Especially since that has been one of the biggest dissappointments from the Knicks teams in the past several years.. … having a consistant energy level. If these two guys can at the very least bring that in every night, the rest of the stats should come to them and the team can play some better ball.

  7. Jon

    Douglas has a chance to be a very nice player. I think he bears some similarities to Chauncy Billups in the sense that he’s not a pure PG entering the league but he has the mental capacity to learn how to play the position very well. I’m not sure that’s the ideal kind of PG for D’Antoni’s system, because I think the best thing about SSOL is that it allows the most natural and intuitive PGs to truly shine, but I do think TD will eventually learn to run point very competently.

    As for Walker, to me he’d be perfectly cast as a complimentary starter that can finish plays off of action created by his teammates. He’s also an instinctive player and a halfway decent defender. He’s sort of like how Q was with the Suns (but with maybe an even higher ceiling). If he can hit the three at 36% or better, get out in transition for easy baskets, and work the baseline like he has in these early games, he could be a solution on the wing next season depending on what the Knicks do in free agency and whether they decide to trade Chandler (I would trade him).

  8. EwingOak

    @ Jon

    Yeah, I am in agreement with you completely on your thoughts on TD and Walker. Both are positive parts of the future hopefully.

    I really like Chandler but I certainly would prefer they traded him if an upgrade came along. He is a good player with a great attitude, but I don’t know how high he can go. I would really like to see him with a consistant superstar on the team and see how well he can fill his role. Part of me thinks he might get lost in the mix when more talent arrives.

    • Italian Stallion

      If there was an offer we couldn’t refuse I guess Chandler would have to go, but I’m not so anxious to trade him. I think he’s been playing mildly above average ball since his dreadful start in Oct/Nov. I think that’s a pretty good sign considering he was on crutches all summer and couldn’t work on his game. I’d love to see one more year of him after he’s had a chance to work on his handle and outside shot for a whole summer. Those are two areas that players can improve on over time. I can still see him turning into a valuable piece by age 25. He’s going to be 23 in a couple of months.

      • Dan L

        One thing I think he’ll never develop is basketball instincts. Walker has it already. He just knows where to be, when to make cuts, when he’s open, etc. I haven’t watched Harden for OKC this year much but he used to be like this in ASU.

        • Jon

          Yes, exactly. Some guys are just basketball players. Walker is one of those guys. I think he has a big future. The Knicks have some interesting pieces but there’s no galvanizing force on this team. They need a player that can make proper use of these guys and bring them together.

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