Toney Douglas Was Not Ready For Miami Heat Spotlight

By Richard Nurse
Miami Heat
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Toney Douglas finally had his time to shine, and he came up with almost nothing but darkness as Tuesday night turned into the perfect setup for the newly acquired guard to get his first batch of meaningful minutes for the Miami Heat.

Dwyane Wade sat out his 14th game with the same chronic migraine issues that have plagued him his entire career — conveniently lining him up to play on the second night of a back-to-back that he would have likely missed if he had played in Phoenix. This left the Heat to search for somebody to step into the vacant Mike Miller role of substitute starter so Ray Allen could keep his cohesiveness with the bench squad.

So the shooting guard received his chance to show why coach Erik Spoelstra claimed “we actually tried to get him in the [2009] draft.” Or if you believe the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, his shot to play was more about due diligence:

“…if nothing else, it afforded the Heat an extended look at Douglas in advance of next week’s trading deadline.”

Unfortunately for Douglas, after scoring the team’s first three points — to stop a 12-0 start — he began to look frazzled. The defense that people raved about seeing in practice was not really there and neither was his shot. He went 2-for-9 and often seemed out of place, stumbling around the court like a newborn deer.

However, his pretty baseline pass to a cutting LeBron James was a tiny glimmer of light on his dull night. But if we’re being honest, a cutting James could make anyone look right.

In Douglas’ defense, it was his first time trying to contribute to a championship team. You can’t fault him for being nervous.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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