I sat down with Toney Douglas for 3 minutes and 28 seconds, and he was kind enough to answer some questions.
Mike Kurylo: Last year we talked about defense, and you said “In college there is a lot of help defense, but in the NBA [things are] more spaced out. One mistake and [you’ve given up a] bucket. I feel like in college you can just go fast [all the time], but in the NBA you have to pick & choose when to go fast.”. How do you feel about defense now that you’re going into your second season?
Toney Douglas: I learned a lot being in the NBA playing defense. A lot of the stuff I did in college I won’t be able to do. Well, I can do some of it because I’m athletic. It’s all about picking & choosing where you want to make steals & where you want to gamble. When to get in the paint & get out. I’m going to be a way better defensive player this year, especially off the ball. On the ball I’m fine, off the ball I’m going to be way better.
Mike Kurylo: Now that the team has radically changed this year, who are you looking forward to playing with?
Toney Douglas: Everybody. We have a great team. A talented team. Everybody that has a uniform on can play. That’s a great feeling. In training camp tomorrow we’re going to start feeling out everyone else’s games. What people can do and what they can’t do. We have a lot of options and I’m looking forward to it tomorrow.
Mike Kurylo: Who do you miss playing with from last year?
Toney Douglas: Who I played with a lot was David Lee. He is a smart player, has a basketball IQ like a point guard. He can dribble, shoot, and he knows the game. He’s a smart player. At the same time it’s a business. I’m pretty sure he’s going to do well where he’s at, and at the same time we had to make changes for the benefit of our team. We gotta move on.
Mike Kurylo: You shot poorly in the summer league last year. Then you had a good shooting season, very good actually. Then you shot poorly again in summer league. What’s the difference about the summer league?
(laughter by both)
Toney Douglas: I don’t know. I’m not worried about it. When it’s time to suit up I’m ready to go. I know I’m going to knock my shots down. That’s me standing in the gym being confident…
Mike Kurylo: … Are you thinking too much? Trying to work on something? Or like you said last year it was just a bad week?
(laughter by both)
Toney Douglas: I can’t even tell you. I just know when I’m on MSG and I’m in the Garden I’m going to be ready.
Mike Kurylo: I asked Bill Walker the same thing and I mentioned it to him. Is it the water? The altitude?
Toney Douglas: (chuckle). I don’t know.