The New York Knicks Chauncey Billups will be out for tonight’s game two of the first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics after injuringg his thigh in game one. This means one thing, the Knicks will be able to run.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Billups and think he is a great player, but he can not do what coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense system asks for, push the ball up the court as fast as you can.
The 34-year old point guard has lost a few steps and can not push the ball up the court the way his coach wants to. He still starts, plays and puts up good numbers because he is a great player. On the other hand, the sets D’Antoni likes to run don’t work because Billups isn’t road runner.
Billups goes out, 25-year old backup pg Toney Douglas comes in.
Douglas is the total opposite of Billups when it comes to speed. He is super fast and would rather push the ball up the court then wait for a half-court offensive set to form. This is a plus for D’Antoni and could be a bad omen for the Celtics. Boston seems to be worn down and is just a tad slower than usual on transition defense.
The backup pg can shoot the three similar to Billups but he is unproven in clutch situations because he hasn’t had many opportunities. The bad thing is, Douglas doesn’t have Billups hard nose edge, defense or court vision to design plays or make the right pass on a fast break.
New York only lost game one by two points and if the pace was a little faster, it could have went the Knicks way. Game two will be extremely interesting to see how the Knicks play without the cagey veteran and with the younger and faster backup.