Knicks Midseason Grades
The New York Knicks finished up their first 47 games of the season at a 25-22 clip. Albeit a little past the midway point of the season, we thought it was time to grade the Knicks individually. We added Coach Mike D’Antoni into the grading seeing that it is now time he get rated on his performance.
Mike D’Antoni: After two abysmal seasons in which the Knicks upper management basically said do what you can with a team that will be changing more frequently than New York’s weather, D’Antoni certainly has delivered what his resume indicates; a fast up tempo exciting team. The word defense will never be in D’ Antoni’s vocabulary but you have to take the good with the bad.
This team seems destined for great things in the future with a young squad being molded into the type of team suited to run his style of offense. At 25-22 the Knicks are pretty much what most experts expected. They’re a solid team on the rise but still a few parts away. With this said he still has brought something this season no Knicks fan has seen in quite some time, and that’s a winning record.
Kelenna Azubuike: Brought in with the David Lee trade, his expiring contract was worth more than anything. I believe Walsh would have thought he would at least be healthy before midseason. His outside shooting would definitely help this team, but it’s looking more and more likely he may never suit up for the Knicks.
Wilson Chandler: Chandler is putting up career numbers this year for the Knicks. Trade rumors may have slowed his play up recently but he is still currently averaging career high in points, blocks, rebounds and 3-point shooting percentage. You’ll more than likely hear his name being discussed any ‘Melo trade come the trade deadline.
Eddy Curry: The debacle that is Eddy Curry. He’s played in a total of ten games the past three seasons, logging just under 13 minutes. The only good thing Curry brings to the Knicks right now is his expiring contract. You won’t see Curry in a Knicks uniform again, I’m afraid. If Curry’s contract is not moved before the trade deadline I expect the Knicks to release him.
Toney Douglas: Douglas is a very good defender but his style of play has got him some nagging shoulder injuries. He worked on his 3-point shooting in the offseason and has played alongside point guard Raymond Felton at the shooting guard. Time off during the All-Star break could be just what he needs.
Raymond Felton: Felton came out flaming hot in D’Antoni’s system, playing like an all-star point guard. He’s currently averaging career highs in points, assists and steals. He may be hitting a midseason wall as his play has slowed down a little as of late. He’s playing a career high in minutes (38.7) and he is another player that will use the all-star break for some much needed rest.
Landy Fields: Perhaps the steal of the draft, Fields has been a pleasant surprise. Fields leads all rookie guards in rebounding. Fields is shooting over 50% from the field and 38% from down town. If not for Blake Griffin, Fields would be the front runner for rookie of the year. Even over number one overall pick John Wall. See Larry Fields for more.
Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari is having the best season of his young career. He’s been more aggressive on offense and is attacking the basket much more often. He’s also getting to the free throw ling very frequently. His 3-point shooting has dipped some, but I believe it’s just a confidence factor. You’ll hear his name in every Carmelo rumor entering the trade deadline. Traded or not, he’s got a bright career ahead for him.
Roger Mason: Coming into the season I expected Mason to log decent minutes and help the Knicks with his shooting. He’s yet to crack D’antoni’s rotation and has logged only 10 games, mainly in garbage time or when someone went down with an injury. Hard to believe he can play in 79 games with the Spurs last year and only 10 appearances with the Knicks through the halfway point. He was a low cost low risk entering the season. I don’t see him logging many minutes the rest of the season.
Timofey Mozgof: Mozgof started the season starting at the center position for the Knicks. His first few games he was plagued by foul trouble and didn’t log many minutes because of it. He then fell out of the rotation for a month. Mozgof had his best career game against the Pistons Sunday when he had 23 points and 14 rebounds. He’s still under contract with the Knicks for two more seasons and he’s only 24. He is someone to watch the rest of the season.
Anthony Randolph: The centerpiece of the David Lee trade, many were excited to get an athletic player like Randolph. He’s 21 and has a lot of upside, but Knick fans expected much more out of him as he has only played in 15 games and can’t seem to crack the rotation. He is still ranked highly among many teams around the league, as a few teams are willing to part with a first round pick for him. As of now it looks like the only good Randolph will do for the Knicks is to sweeten any deal for Carmelo Anthony.
Andy Rautins: It’s far too early to make any conclusion on Rautins. He’s only played in three games this season, all in garbage time. The only way you’ll see him is if our guards get injured late in the season.
Amare Stoudemire: The biggest free agent acquisition for the Knicks has lived up to all expectations and more. Stoudemire is putting up MVP like numbers averaging 26 points, nearly nine rebounds and a shade over two blocks per game. Amare is single handedly carrying this team to the playoffs. He’s currently logging in a career high in minutes. The Knicks need to try to reduce his minutes and keep him healthy.
Ronny Turiaf: The third piece involved in the David Lee trade, Turiaf is a fan favorite. Though he usually won’t light up a stat sheet, he defense and hustle make up for it. Turiaf could be splitting minutes with Mozgof if his play continues to improve. I’m a big fan of Turiaf’s game and I think he could help the Knicks with his defense.
Bill Walker: Walker hasn’t been playing as many minutes as last year, but he could still drop 20 points if he catches fire. He’s shooting 41% from behind the arc this season. He’s a player that adds depth at the guard position and he’s had very cheap. I like his athleticism and his jump shot. I expect similar output the rest of the season as a role player.
Shawne Williams: Williams was chosen over fan favorite Patrick Ewing Jr. for the 15th and final roster spot. Williams has been a pleasant surprise for the Knicks. Williams is shooting 51% from three and is making Donnie Walsh look like a genius. If he continues to shoot well from down town I could see him getting more minutes the rest of the way.
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