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) Well, his big fun streak of twenty-point games is finally over. It lasted 26 games, third-longest in Knicks history. It ended in the loss to the Spurs on Friday night, and it’s worth noting that Stoudemire took more shots that night (25) than he had at any time in the last month. (He did have a season-high fifteen rebounds that night, though that was partly because there were so many missed shots to rebound.) He was back on pace last night in the win over the Wizards, going 13-for-23 from the field.
2. Landry Fields. (Last week: 3) We’ve been resisting putting Landry at the No. 2 spot for most of the year, but with Wilson Chandler struggling and Landry being one of the few players who doesn’t rely on his shot to have a good game, he gets bumped up. He shouldn’t get too comfortable, though: He didn’t play that well all week and played only nineteen minutes in the win over Washington. It’s not a good sign that almost every assessment of his performance seems to include the phrase rookie wall of late.
3. Wilson Chandler. (Last week: 2) Chandler’s shooting in the three losses this week: 9-for-31, including 1-for-9 from three-point range. (The loss to Oklahoma City was a particularly rough one: five points, one rebound, two assists, three turnovers, three fouls.) Last night, though, he woke up, scoring 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
4. Raymond Felton. (Last week: 4) We’ve been saying it for weeks, but it’s obvious now what all the early-season minutes for Felton have done to him. He has played under 32 minutes just once this year, and even though he played excellently last night (everyone did: It was the Wizards), the shooting, the passing, and the defense are all wearing down. We know Donnie Walsh is all busy with Carmelo business, but if there’s not a legitimate backup point guard soon, Felton is going to vanish in a poof of smoke, disintegrating into ash, any minute now.
5. Danilo Gallinari. (Last week: 6) The more Gallinari drives, the better both he and the Knicks are. Gallo has had some flashes since coming back from his injury, but this is still a potential All-Star who exists for the Knicks as an underutilized resource. Check out Seth from Posting and Toasting and his breakdown of how the Rooster has been getting the ball lately.
6. Ronny Turiaf. (Last week: 8) He’s not starting regularly yet, but he’s been putting together some solid numbers for a team that so desperately needs another big feller underneath. He notched a double-double against the Spurs and was nice all around all week. He played more than twenty minutes each game, hit more than 50 percent of his shots each game, and was as smiling and happy and goofy as he always is each game. Nice to have you back, Ronny.
7. Toney Douglas. (Last week: 9) Look who’s starting to get some minutes again. The shoulder is still a little gimpy, but he hit double figures twice this week, played tough defense, and even had an 11:2 assist-to-turnover ratio. That will earn him more minutes.
8. Shawne Williams. (Last week: 5) Probably shouldn’t have dropped this low, but times are tough all over. Also: How in the world did he play twenty minutes against Oklahoma City and not even attempt a three? What the heck was he doing out there?
9. Bill Walker. (Last week: 7) His minutes are starting to disappear again. He’s almost exclusively a three-point shooter now too. He took fourteen shots this week. Thirteen of them were from behind the arc.
10. Anthony Randolph. (Last week: 13) Didn’t play all week, but neither did the men below him. At least he’s keeping our Google News Alerts for “Anthony Randolph” + “trade” busy.
11. Roger Mason Jr.. (Last week: 10) You’re starting to hear more calls for him to pick up minutes, just to ease Felton’s burden. That he’s not getting them shows how awful he must be in practice. (Perhaps as awful as he’s been in games?)
12. Timofey Mozgov. (Last week: 11) It’s pretty hilarious that at one point, Mikhail Prokhorov was being mocked for “not knowing about Mozgov.” How could he miss Mozgov??
13. Andy Rautins. (Last week: 12) Congratulations to Tas Melas and Rautins look-alike J.E. Skeets for the fifth anniversary of the Basketball Jones this week. We couldn’t be prouder. If only someday Donnie Walsh would trade for Hedo:
(Injured: Kelenna Azubuike, Eddy Curry)