Mike D'Antoni has shortened his rotation, but the rotation, and the players' performances, are forever changing. As part of our Knicks coverage all season, taking a note from Mark Lisanti's "Mad Men Power Rankings," we'll be tracking each player every Tuesday. Come with us for the Knicks Power Rankings!
1. Amar'e Stoudemire. (Last week: 1) Is someone going to ask Amar'e what he thinks of this Carmelo business? (We'd ask ourselves, but the Knicks are all the way out on the West Coast, and that's very far.) Sure, he's happy with this current Knicks team — other than that Lakers game, anyway — but he did come here with the implicit idea that there would be more superstars coming. Are there any other ones, save Carmelo? (Point guards excluded.) He's gotta be as itchy as anyone about the potential Nets deal, right? By the way: He hasn't scored fewer than twenty points since before Thanksgiving.
2. Wilson Chandler. (Last week: 4) Chandler's having a terrific season, so we don't want to look a gelded horse in the mouth here. (That's how that phrase goes, right?) But was it really the wisest thing for Donnie Walsh to essentially promise that the Knicks would match any offer than comes Chandler's way when he's a restricted free agent at the end of the year? Doesn't that put the Knicks in a potential bind, making it difficult to bring any other big names in? That said: There might not even be an NBA season next year. Walsh can say anything he wants! THE KNICKS ARE SIGNING MOZGOV TO A MAX DEAL, AND ALSO LETTING HIM MOONLIGHT WITH THE KNICKS CITY DANCERS. Why not? Whee!
3. Raymond Felton. (Last week: 2) It is possible that Felton is hitting the wall, slightly. He was dreadful against the Lakers, and we're starting to trust his shot a little less than we did a month ago. (Even with Danilo Gallinari out, we'd rather see Shawne Williams, Bill Walker, or Landry Fields shooting a three-pointer right now.) That said: triple double! Felton notched his first career triple-double against the Suns, though, to be fair, we're pretty sure everyone had a triple-double against the Suns. (Oh, wait: Rautins was a rebound short.)
4. Landry Fields. (Last week: 5) He was one of the few guys who showed up against the Lakers, and you could almost see Fields pinch himself every few minutes to remind himself he was actually guarding Kobe Bryant (his favorite player growing up). We continue to rank him too low. For the sake of fun, by the way, here are some great Fields highlights from Stanford. We can't believe we haven't posted these before.
We love it when he dunks on the Northwestern guys.
5. Shawne Williams. (Last week: 7) Williams got his first start as a Knick against the Lakers, and even though it wasn't the best game for the team or for Williams, it's still pretty amazing, considering what he has been through. The last time he started a game was March 26, 2008, for the Pacers against the Nets. He scored nine points. The Pacers lost. Fun stat! Teams are 3–4 in games that Shawne Williams has started in his career. Okay, maybe that wasn't that fun of a stat.
6. Toney Douglas. (Last week: 6) He's missing out on an opportunity to truly establish himself, mostly because his shoulder is clearly still hurting him. We like the arm warmer things he's sporting of late, though.
7. Ronny Turiaf. (Last week: 8) A good friend of ours is a Lakers fan who knows very little about what's going on with the Knicks, because of that annoying West Coast Bias. Anyway, when he heard that Turiaf is the Knicks' best center right now, he asked, "Who's hurt?" No one, we're afraid. Still: We have decided to protest all of the world's injustices, from apartheid to high ATM fees to just missing that subway train, exactly how Ronny does it.
8. Bill Walker. (Last week: 9) This is turning into an eight-man rotation: Someone must be getting Mike D'Antoni sauced, because that's crazy. Walker has hit six three-pointers in his last three games; he had just fourteen coming into those three games. Plus: the headband.
9. Timofey Mozgov. (Last week: 10) Mozgov gets special mention this week because he got ejected! All it took was an elbow to Robin Lopez's face. Way to go, Comrade Mozgov! We expect more elbow-related violence in the coming weeks.
10. Andy Rautins. (Last week: 13) Look who's shooting up the rankings! Rautins scored this week, against the Suns, and didn't do anything that made D'Antoni want to murder him, which is better than his fellow pal in benchdom ...
11. Anthony Randolph. (Last week: 11) In five minutes of play against the Suns, Randolph scored two points, grabbed two rebounds, took two crazy shots and turned the ball over. If D'Antoni had a cane with him at the time, he would have come out onto the court and taken out Randolph's knee. Don't expect to see Randolph for another month, at least.
12. Roger Mason Jr. (Last week: 12) Here are Mason's stats this year: nine games, 7.6 minutes, 1-for-14 from the field, 0-for-5 from three-point range, 1-for-3 from the free-throw line. This guy was supposed to replace Shannon Brown, last seen hopping all over the Knicks for the Lakers. Sigh.
Injured: Kelenna Azubuike, Eddy Curry, Danilo Gallinari.