Guard Toney Douglas officially inked his one-year, $1.6 million deal with Golden State on Thursday in Las Vegas. He said the Warriors are the perfect fit for him when I caught up with him for a phone interview.
DOUGLAS: “It’s an uptempo team. They have a great coach in Mark Jackson. They added Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights and Jermaine O’Neal. They whole starting five back. For the team this year, the sky’s the limit. Go far in the playoffs, that’s the goal. … Now it’s about (making) the Western Conference Finals and getting an NBA championship.”
Douglas said watching Jarrett Jack’s role on the team last season has him excited about the prospects facing him with the Warriors. With Jack now in Cleveland, Douglas sees himself as bringing to the table some of what Jarrett Jack did.
Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in 29.7 minutes off the bench last season. Douglas has never played that much in his four years in the NBA. But he did average 10.6 points and 3.0 assists in 24.3 minutes off the bench for the New York Knicks in 2010-11.
DOUGLAS: “He was a big key to the team. I’m able to do the same things – make plays with the ball and also defend both guard positions.”
Another important role for Douglas will happen in practice. Known as a good defender, he will match-up against star guard Stephen Curry regularly. Douglas’ physical and relentless ball pressure caused problems for Curry when the two faced off in games. Douglas said he will help Curry get ready for the steady diet he will receive during the season.
DOUGLAS: “He’s a great shooter, a great player. He’s going to face a lot of teams being physical with him. I can help him out with that.”
But Douglas, a Florida State product who was drafted 29th overall by the Lakers in the 2009 draft and traded to the Knicks, said he is more than a defender. He’s a career 37.9 percent 3-point shooter if you take away one dreadful year from behind the arc in New York. And at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, he is quick and slithery enough to get into the lane.
Most have forgotten, but Douglas said he can get buckets.
DOUGLAS: “Oh yeah. Of course. I definitely can still do that.”
He said he looks forward to playing against Houston, his former team. He said he still has a lot of friends on that team and expects the Warriors-Rockets rivalry to reach new heights.
The teams developed a healthy amount of bad blood last season as Houston won the season series 3-1. Now the Rockets have Dwight Howard and both teams are expected to contend for a top seed in the Western Conference.
DOUGLAS: “It was a rivalry because the records were close and the things that happen. But it was all about basketball. It’s going to be heated because the rivalry that is budding.”
He said he got calls from several former Rockets teammates congratulating him on signing with the Warriors. Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and others told him he landed in a good spot.
He said he looks forward to reuniting with them on the court. The heated, intense, competitive games are where he thrives.
DOUGLAS: “I love it. Love it. I can seize the moment.”