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Houston Rockets Player Rankings: ESPN Ranks Toney Douglas #321

facebooktwitterreddit and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player — and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on ESPN asked 104 experts to rate each player on a 0-10 scale.

Toney Douglas has had a dramatic fall from grace. He went from being one of the most crucial pieces on the New York Knicks roster to a guy at the end of the bench. He showed a lot of promise in his first two seasons, but with the additions of Baron Davis, Mike Bibby and Jeremy Lin, all his playing time went out the window. He played in only 38 of the possible 66 games in the lockout-shortened season. He had career lows all across the board, especially shooting. He shot just 32% from the field, which is atrocious.

His sophomore season he put up great numbers as a backup combo guard for the Knicks. Douglas averaged 10.6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 24 minutes a game. He also played in every game except for one. Personally, I thought he was on the way to becoming one of the best sixth man players in the league and possibly a future starter. The reality is he’s far from that. He’s at the end of the bench creeping very close to being out of the league.

Douglas lost all his confidence last season. It didn’t help that the Knicks brought in 3 point guards and drafted Iman Shumpert who could also run the point. A player in that situation usually always fails. Douglas is a scoring guard more than a facilitator, so he needs to regain confidence in his shooting to bring up that horrendous shooting percentage. Douglas is a guy who can pull up from three, stop and pop inside the three-point line and can get to the basket if he’s called to do so.

Toney has a lot of talent and has a chance to have a big role on the Houston Rockets roster, but only if he regains the style of play that worked so well in his first two seasons with the Knicks. He’s similar to starting point guard Jeremy Lin, in that they are both scorers first. This could help with any lineup that McHale throws out there.

Douglas is going to have to fight to win the backup point guard job. The Rockets also have veteran Shaun Livingston who is very capable of taking over that position and has played well in it. Toney Douglas can do it, he just needs to stay confident.