After much speculation of a shakeup in the Knicks lineup, Mike D’Antoni gave starting point guard Chris Duhon a vote of confidence on Thursday. That’s good news for the owners of Duhon, who is off to a horrid start.
In his first nine games, Duhon is averaging just 6.7 points on 39 percent shooting and has made only 8-of-37 3-pointers. The upside is he’s contributing 5.1 assists and nearly a steal per game and his per minute assist numbers are pretty in line with his career averaged. It seems he’s just in a terrible shooting slump.
Duhon’s preseason projections were 9.2 points, 6.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.4 3-pointers with a .419 FG% and an .841 FT%. Those numbers in a projected 76 games marked him as a 13th-round value, which makes him a backup guard.
While his shooting percentage will get better, it won’t be good this season. So I don’t recommend dumping Duhon, especially since D’Antoni is going to stick with him.
The interesting aspect of the Knicks sticking with Duhon will be the impact it has on rookie Toney Douglas once Nate Robinson returns from an ankle injury.
Douglas has been among the top three or four rookies over the past week, averaging 15.8 points and 2.3 3-pointers on 59 percent shooting in his last four games. In his last two games, including a start on Wednesday, he has scored 44 points combined.
While Douglas has made a brief impact, he will eventually struggle, as all rookies do. And he’s unlikely to eclipse Robinson, who is one of the Knicks’ best players and is projected to average 16.5 points, 1.8 3-pointers, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals.
Douglas just isn’t ready for that time of consistent production yet.