Chris Childs is half of the surprising Knicks' point guard tandem, the backup to Charlie Ward, the man who makes sure the Knicks don't lose a step when the second team enters the game.
In fact, in large part because of Childs, the second-teamers have been saving the day for the Knicks.
Childs, Latrell Sprewell and Marcus Camby used to be the main weapons off the bench for New York. But Sprewell has started the last few games for the Knicks, an eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference, breaking up what had been one of the better change-of-pace rotations in the NBA.
Still, thanks to Childs showing the way, the formerly post-bound Knicks are going up-tempo on opponents now, fueling their run into the NBA Finals. Childs has averaged 5.5 points and 4.1 points off the bench during the playoffs. Both marks are better than Ward is getting as a starter.
Of course, Childs also is averaging more than 2 1/2 minutes more playing time a game than Ward. And Childs is the one coach Jeff Van Gundy calls when he needs good defense from the point.
The backup? With the way the Knicks are playing right now, that's fine with everybody in New York.