How did he all of sudden start getting all of this playing time? Is it because Carmelo went down?
No. The Knicks were banking on Baron Davis to get healed and revive a career and Toney Douglas was playing (very poorly) out of position. Plus they were stinking it up against the Nets so D'Antoni was just about throwing in the towel.
Think about it, if the Knicks were a bit more competitive against the Nets, this guy would have never gotten a shot.
The NBA is the worst professional league for recognizing talent and giving players a shot. Horribly stupid coaches and GM's as well as cry baby superstars who love to pad their stats in garbage time. Throw on top of that some obvious bias and you get some very talented players sit on a bench and never get any meaningful opportunity in their career.