Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — The Knicks could get a major jolt to their backcourt and their offense by the end of this month in the form of Baron Davis.
Asked before Monday night’s 91-87 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats about a timetable on Davis, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said, “”The end of January, more or less.”
Carmelo Anthony, who scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, sounded excited about the prospect of getting Davis back.
“That’s big, that’s big,” he said. “But until that happens we still gotta keep getting better, do what we have to do out there on the basketball court, offensively and defensively.
“And when Baron comes back, just pick up where we need him to pick from.”
When Davis signed with the Knicks Dec. 19, it was thought he might have to miss 8-10 weeks with a herniated disc in his back.
Now it looks like it could be more like five weeks.
If Davis returns this month, it could provide a major boost to a banged up backcourt.
Point guard Toney Douglas was moved out of the starting lineup and replaced with rookie Iman Shumpert even before Douglas tweaked his shoulder in Saturday’s win over Detroit.
Even though Shumpert failed to close another game because of leg cramps, D’Antoni is high on his defensive abilities.
“The biggest thing we get from Iman is just, on defense, he’s 6-5, 220,” he said.”He’s strong, great hands and that’s where it’s really his thing. Plus, offensively, he can get in the lane and do some things.”
D’Antoni said Douglas was “100 percent” and he expects him to “regroup” going forward.
If Davis returns by the end of the month it will create even more options at the point guard spot, which has been a weakness this year for the Knicks.
Davis will also provide another player capable of prolific scoring.
When he signed, Davis said he planned to be a “facilitator” on a team that features both Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
“When you have two great scorers like that, the way that you saw them start to gel late in the season with each other, they’re going to get their shots,” DAvis said. “Amar’e’s going to get his shots, ‘Melo’s going to get his shots. And everyone else on this team is going to get their shots because of the style of play that we play.
“And for me it’s going to be more of a joy. We got one guy over here who can get 40, we got another guy over here who can get 40. It’s kind of like pick your poison.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.