In last night's 118-110 Knicks win over the Celtics, Mike Bibby quietly recorded one of his better outings since he signed with New York.
Amongst four different twenty-plus point performances by his teammates, Bibby filled in for Baron Davis (who sat much of the game with a stomach bug), dishing out 6 assists in 27 points, committing no turnovers. What's more, the veteran guard had an efficient plus/minus of +16 while on the court vs. the Celtics.
Bibby's refreshing performance was one of the strongest recorded by a Knicks point guard since Jeremy Lin went down with an injury.
Stomach bug or no stomach bug, Davis has struggled all season long. He has in no way, shape, or form come close to the player the Knicks had hoped he'd be. Not only does he struggle to keep up with the league's quicker and younger guards defensively, but Davis has seemingly lost all zip in his offensive game.
It's been mentioned before, too. Davis' jump shot is completely and utterly flat, and he is no longer able to finish at the basket effectively. Lacking such simple offensive skills, the only way the veteran can help the Knicks succeed is to use his smarts, play fundamentally well, and get his teammates the ball in the most opportune spots.
But Davis has failed to even do that. Not keeping his head up in the open floor, Davis has been unable to cash in on his opportunity to be a celebrated playmaker in New York. He furthermore, hurts the Knicks, more so than help them, whenever he takes the court.
His level of play simply doesn't cut it enough to be starting point guard of a playoff team.
Granted, with Lin sitting out through the first round of the postseason, New York may not have many other options as it is. That said, how can anybody else do any worse?
That's why it can't hurt to give Bibby the opportunity to start a game or two at point guard prior to the playoffs. The Knicks have nothing to lose. With so much offensive firepower already packed into the rotation, there's no need for the team's starting point guard to be explosive on offense.
Bibby simply would need to do what Davis has failed to do thus far: get his teammates the ball. Davis' arrant passes often result in careless turnovers, and that's because he plays a bit erratically on the court. Bibby's tempo may indeed be on the slower side, but with experience already as starting floor general on Coach Woodson's Hawks squads for years, perhaps it is he who knows best how to get his teammates involved in the flow of this offense.
Woodson's former starting point guard certainly has a bevy of playoff experience. Whether or not he still has enough in the tank to pace the Knicks offensively through the postseason, however, is absolutely debatable. That's why it's crucial to give him a chance now before it's too late.
Should he succeed, the Knicks will be better prepared heading the first round. However, should Bibby instead crumble under the pressure, the team would still be able to regroup in time for the playoffs.
Either way, with little to no other options, Bibby deserves a sufficient look. It'd be a low-risk, high-reward move by New York.