As we all know, this offseason, the Knicks added Tyson Chandler to the mix, and with this move came the departure of Chauncey Billups. Many NBA analysts, and other so-called “experts”, approved of the move, but thought it still set the Knicks back by having no legitimate point guard. So, what do the Knicks do? They add Baron Davis.
This leads to the same people saying that the addition of Davis doesn’t make the Knicks legitimate contenders and that Davis is not as good as Billups.
The table shown above, displays a head-to-head comparison of Chauncey Billups and Baron Davis. The areas that stick out to me are shooting percentage, assists and turnovers. While Chauncey shot a much better percentage than Davis, their point totals are not much different. Even though Billups is the better shooter between the two, scoring is not what is needed in NY; playmaking is… and with that said, Davis seems to be the much better passer. In the match-ups, Davis averaged 2 more assists per game than Billups. When a player is attempts to find open teammates, they will have a higher tendency to turn the ball over. Such is the case with Davis, who averaged one assist more than Billups a contest.
What you can take out of this is for Coach D’Antoni’s offensive style, the point-guard must be able to involve his teammates. When healthy, Baron Davis is the better fit for this system. Davis’ style of play is more up-tempo than that of Billups’, and he gets more teammates involved, resulting in more assists. Anyone who has watched Davis’ play realizes what a top-notch play-maker he is (a lot of Blake Griffins best dunks last year came from passes by Baron Davis).
(The pick-and-roll at around 1:25 and 2:25, oh. My. God.)
While yes, Chauncey Billups is a clutch performer and an excellent point guard, Baron Davis isn’t a step back at all… he is actually a better fit. Billups is a more efficient scorer, but this Knicks offense has enough scoring and Davis is the better facilitator, the type of player the Knicks are in need of.
Prior to acquiring Baron Davis, the Knicks obtained a defensive-minded center in Tyson Chandler, who adds serious height to the front-court, as well as much needed rebounding. In order to win a NBA championship you need a legitimate center; a player the Knicks now have.
The addition of Tyson Chandler with his defensive and rebounding ability, combined with the signing of Baron Davis, considering he is healthy, makes the Knicks a legitimate championship contender.
Let’s be honest, Baron Davis and Tyson Chandler sounds better than Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf, right?