Mike D'Antoni, Toney Douglas

If the Knicks are looking for a point guard, where does that put Toney Douglas?

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As Kurt noted earlier today, Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times reported that the Knicks are looking for backup point guard help on the cheap, in order to keep Raymond Felton as rested and healthy as possible.

That news immediately calls the future of Toney Douglas to the forefront of the conversation. Douglas ran the point for the Knicks at times last season, manned the 1 at the Vegas Summer League, and indeed, does supply some minutes behind Felton. However, those concerned that the addition of another point guard would bury Douglas in the rotation need not worry; while the knowledge of the Knicks’ interests does give us a solid read on Mike D’Antoni’s opinion of Douglas’ playmaking skills at present, it’s hardly a death sentence for New York’s young scoring guard.

According to 82games.com, the lineups in which Douglas is used most frequently used actually feature Felton running the point with Douglas as the off guard. In fact, Douglas is currently using 26% of the Knicks’ shooting guard minutes, compared to just 20% of the available point guard minutes. While that playing time at PG is sure to decrease or even disappear altogether should the Knicks find their suitable backup, Douglas will still log minutes in the backcourt and could conceivably see his time at shooting guard increase. Abrams’ report detailed that the Knicks may be open to moving swingman Bill Walker, and if Walker does end up as an outgoing component in any trade, that would free up an additional 15% of the Knicks’s shooting guard minutes for players like Douglas to claim.

It’s possible that Douglas’ overall minutes could take a slight dip if the team no longer needs him to take care of ball-handling/playmaking responsibilities, but he’d also be freed up to create for himself without having to worry about triggering the offense.

If Douglas’ underground supporters in NYC should be worried about anything, it’s the eventual return of Kelenna Azubuike. Azubuike was once considered the favorite to start for the Knicks at the 2, but a bum knee has prevented him from playing any games thus far this season. Azubuike continues to recover and rehab, and once he’s ready to make his Knicks debut, he’ll surely take a slice of everyone’s minutes at shooting guard. Douglas’ playing time should more or less be safe until then (even if his responsibilities change slightly), but Azubuike poses a real threat of pushing Douglas down a peg in the rotation.

Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim

Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) drives past Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.

Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).

The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.

That’s technicals 10 and 11 on the season for Howard. He’s got some work to do to catch up with DeMarcus Cousins, but still he’s racked up a few.

It just didn’t matter on Monday, with Dennis Schroder leading the way with 21 points for the Hawks.

 

DeMar DeRozan drains game winner to cap 37-point night, Raptors beat Knicks 92-91

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With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.

The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.

It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.

Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors

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Golden State is in Philadelphia, and so are the celebrities.

Kevin Heart — a Philly native — was on hand and he got to ring the bell pregame (a Sixers tradition).

Having him on hand seems to help as the Sixers were hanging around through the middle of the third quarter with a team looking for its 50th win.

Bucks’ Michael Beasley has to be helped to locker room after apparently hyperextending knee

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04:  Michael Beasley #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action against Mindaugas Kuzminskas #91 of the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 4, 2017 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Let’s just hope this is nothing too serious.

Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.

The team is calling it a sprain for now.

Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.