April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Toney Douglas (0) dribbles the ball against the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Kings 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Toney Douglas is one of the four non-draft pick acquisitions for the Golden State Warriors and will fill the void left by Jarrett Jack. Douglas will have some big shoes to fill, as Jack finished third in the Sixth Man voting and is arguably one of the best backup centers in the league. That being said, Douglas will be able to provide in ways that Jack was unable to namely defense. Let’s take an in-depth look at the point guards game and what a Warriors’ fan should expect from him next season.
The most important part of Douglas’ offensive toolbox is his three-point shot and his ability to hit those shots in limited minutes. In his 18.2 average minutes played per game last season, he averaged 7.5 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting from the field. His field goal percentage is lowered by his three-point percentage of 38 percent, making him a great threat from beyond the arc.
This is great because the same offensive plays the Warriors use to get Stephen Curry those great looks at the basket can be used for Douglas, though some slight adjustments will probably need to be made as Curry obviously requires less daylight to hit those looks.
April 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Toney Douglas (0) reacts at the end of the game against the New Orleans Hornets at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Hornets 121-110. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Douglas’ ability to get to the rim should also not be overlooked–42 percent of all of his attempts within the arc came at the rim, where he hit 56.2 percent of those shots. Only 42.4 percent of all those shots at the rim were assisted, meaning more times than not, Douglas is creating his own shot and cutting to the rim. The impact of this will be better spacing as he will force defenders to flock to him when he cuts, thus creating an open man.
In terms of non-scoring offense, Douglas is not great. He averaged just 2.1 assists during the 2012-13 season. It should be noted however that his 2012-13 numbers are a composite of his two tenures in Houston and Sacramento. Douglas actually improved his assist numbers when he went from the Rockets to the Kings. He averaged 1.9 assists with the Rockets and 2.6 with the Kings.
In fact, the stats from Douglas’ transition reveal more about him as a player than his composite stats. The point guard settled for less touches in Sacramento and instead focused on making more passes. His turnovers stayed static, meaning he increased his assist to turnover ratio. This is good news for the Warriors as it shows that the former Florida State University product can adjust to a smaller role, but can also step up when necessary. For an example on the other side of the spectrum, in his one 40 plus minute game of the season, Douglas scored 17 points on 54.5 percent shooting, hitting five of his seven attempts from behind the line. He also dished out four dimes and grabbed two rebounds.
Offensively, Douglas is an efficient scorer who isn’t afraid to pass on his own good shot in favor of a teammates great shot. As he is surrounded with better shooters, his assist numbers will only go up.
January 30, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Rockets guard Toney Douglas (15) reacts during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The most impressive part of Douglas’ game is in fact not his offense but his defense, specifically steals. In just 17.1 minutes of play in Sacramento, Douglas averaged 1.4 steals. Although it may be a small sample size, as Douglas played just 22 in a Kings uniform, it still demonstrates to a certain degree his ability to poke loose the ball and create defensive stops.
At the end of the day, steals are a gamble. If a player goes for a steal and misses, they give their man an open lane and an opportunity to burn past them. The difference between a good defensive guard and a great defensive guard is the ability to play the odds. Douglas hedges his bets and keeps his body constantly moving on defense. If you ever watch him play in his brief minutes, you can see him constantly moving his feet and his hands, giving him the opportunity to strike at any moment. It is in this way that Douglas removes the gambling element from steals, biding his time until he is sure he can strike at the ball and it is for that reason he can get steals in such limited minutes.
With another great defensive center behind him in Andrew Bogut or Jermaine O’Neal and eventually Festus Ezeli, Douglas could even gamble a little if he wanted and go for more steals, which combined with his fast hands, will result in more defensive stops at the perimeter.
In conclusion, Douglas is a great two-way player who can contribute in bursts or in longer stretches. After playing for three teams in four years, he will be looking for a place to settle down and hopefully Golden State becomes that place.