I don't think the New York Knicks had any trouble parting ways with point guard Toney Douglas last season, not after the terrible year he turned in. In 17 minutes per game, good ol' Toney averaged 6.2 points on 32 percent shooting, with a PER of seven and a win share rating of -0.25. Good heavens.
Now Toney is the Rockets' problem, although he has really been anything but a problem thus far in the preseason. He's beating out Shaun Livingston for the backup point guard job as far as anyone can tell. That's a shocking development, actually.
You know who might be the most surprised? The folks at Deadspin, specifically Twitter fiend @Netw3rk, who penned this introduction to his recent takedown of Mr. Douglas (the third installment in what promises to be a really, really depressing series):
I've always had a low tolerance for other people's embarrassment. I can't help but put myself into that person's shoes-I run a flop sweat; I fidget; my skin feels like it wants to crawl off my body. That's just the way I am. Even the simulated awkwardness of Larry David or Michael Scott is enough to drive me to pace my living room. So this humiliation-empathy situation of mine meant that watching Toney Douglas play for the Knicks last season drove me to the brink of eye-clawing madness.
Sadly, that's just the figurative description. Here's what he actually saw from Toney on the court:
A typical Toney Douglas sequence from the 2011-12 season: Toney brings the ball up from the backcourt (so far, so good!). He surveys the scene. A pick arrives in the form of Tyson Chandler or Amar'e Stoudemire. Toney takes the pick. The screener rolls. Whatever window existed for Toney to make the pass closes. The shot clock reaches the low single digits. Toney passes to the closest perimeter player who forces up a contested panic shot (option B: Toney takes the panic shot) as the clock expires.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Haven't had to suffer The Rafer Alston in some time now, thankfully.
Also, it gets worse.
(I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the one thing Toney did exceptionally well last season. That thing was running full speed, without regard to life and limb, into opposing screens as if they were freshly Windexed windows and he were a bat. This happened with such incredible regularity that I began to surmise that Toney's teammates hated him so much that they were passive-aggressively not calling out screens on purpose, to punish him like Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket.)