The New York Knicks have quite possibly ended their quest to find a starting point guard, with former Clippers and Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis committing to joining the team. The news comes just days after he was amnestied by the Cavs. Davis will reportedly sign a one-year $2.6 million deal and will likely start once he has recovered from his back injury, which could set him back around two months.
Baron has often been criticised for playing below his talent level due to his disinterest in the poor teams he has played for. To be fair, I’m not sure many people would be inspired to play for the Clippers or the Cavs or even the Warriors in any season other than 06-07. Davis, who is listed at 215 lbs, has also been accused of turning up overweight to training camp on a number of occasions, something he has repeatedly denied.
When Davis is ready, though, he can be an elite point guard. Even last season, Davis gelled well with Blake Griffin and he managed to post reasonable numbers once shipped to a terrible Cleveland team. In fact, Davis’ typically poor three-point percentage rose to a steady 41% in Cleveland, a stat he will need to keep up in order to earn a place in front of sharpshooters Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby.
In New York, Davis will likely be a better fit then the aforementioned point guards already on the roster. Davis has a skill set which, besides the outside shooting, really mixes the best of the current group.
Baron can score like Toney Douglas but is not as likely to chuck up a bad shot with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony beside him. His veteran experience (and his six years of playoff ball) will help the Knicks down the stretch, especially against the likes of the Boston Celtics. Davis typically raises his game come post-season time, ending with 25 points and 7 assists per game, four years ago. Of course, Davis is past his prime now but he can still be a steady contributor to this championship-hunting Knicks team.
We could be looking at the dreaded point guard by committee if Davis doesn’t show himself to be the superior guy when he gets here, with Shumpert taking on the more athletic guys like Derrick Rose and Toney Douglas taking on the smaller guys like Rajon Rondo. Bibby and Diddy will be left to take on the more veteran point guards such as Derek Fisher. For a team with poor chemistry, it will be best to have one stand-out guy, with others filling specific roles. Douglas and Bibby can be shooters with Shumpert as the defensive specialist.
If Davis realises his good fortune in finding himself on this talented Knicks team, he will end up working as hard as he should have been doing for his whole career. When that happens, all we’ll have to do is reap the benefits.