The season has now reached its end, and it’s time to page through the highlights of Mike D’Antoni’s ever-changing rotation. As part of our Knicks coverage all season, taking a note from Mark Lisanti’s “Mad Men Power Rankings,” we’ve been tracking each player every Tuesday. Come with us for the Knicks Power Rankings!
1. Amar’e Stoudemire. (Last week: 1)
Superlative: Most Likely to Succeed? Greatest Overall Human Being? Whatever the best one is.
Best Games: How about that stretch from late November to mid-December in which he scored 30 or more points in nine straight games and, really, the entire month of December. If you’ve got to pick just one game, his 39 points and eleven rebounds (and the win) in a November battle against Blake Griffin was pretty splendid, or what about 36 and ten (and eleven turnovers!) in a win over the Wizards? Forty-one points on 17–21 shooting in a February victory over the Sixers? Really, though, that 28-point outburst in the Game 1 loss to the Celtics — the only game in which we got 100 percent of Amar’e — was something special. Suffice to say the guy did some good things when on the basketball court.
Remember when … Amar’e was impressed? He was tenths of seconds away from being the hero? He swatted LeBron for the win? Your innards curdled every time he got hit in the face or fell to the ground? He got whistled for over sixteen technicals but evaded suspension? He had an entire page to himself at Get Banged On? (A personal favorite, as it came on a successful pick-and-roll).
2. Carmelo Anthony. (Last week: 2)
Superlative: Best Smile, Most Popular.
Best Games: Back-to-back outings of 39 points and ten rebounds in March wins over Orlando and New Jersey were cool. The best of them all, though, was that Game 2 loss in Boston in which Melo single-handedly scored 42 points, grabbed seventeen rebounds, dished six assists, made multiple absolutely absurd plays, and warmed thousands of hearts in what was about 1.8 Jared Jeffrieses away from being an unbelievable upset.
Remember when … You couldn’t get that doggone Diddy song out of your head? Melo sank the big shot in his debut against the Bucks? He got cozy in the bus after six-point performance in Detroit? He did “this” in Memphis? And in Philadelphia? And in Indianapolis?
3. Landry Fields. (Last week: 3)
Superlative: Most Precocious Neophyte.
Best games: A 21-point, seventeen-rebound breakout evening in Denver that almost made us forget New York’s six-game losing streak. After that, nineteen, thirteen, and six in that January win over the Heat and 25 and ten just two weeks later against the Sixers.
Remember when … Almost everybody booed the Fields pick? Landry earned a starting spot and promptly made us eat our boos? He led all guards in rebounding for most of the season? He tip-smashed the Raptors and Bucks? He got sneaky on national television? Twice? He wore spectacles and sold his own jersey? He belted Michael Jackson?
4. Chauncey Billups. (Last week: 4)
Superlative: Most Likely to Attempt “Chancy Pull-Ups.”
Best games: Thirty points, including an absurd eighteen of twenty free throws in an ill-fated loss to the Magic. Thirty-three points,six assists,six rebounds, and 10–10 from the free throw line in a March win over the Nets.
Remember when … Chauncey drained an eponymous Big Shot in Miami? He dribbled through Carlos Delfino’s legs or assisted Amar’e Stoudemire through his own? People kept hitting Chauncey in his aforementioned legs?
5. Toney Douglas. (Last week: 5)
Superlative: Least Predictable.
Best games: Toney’s career-high 30 point outing against the Bulls. His record-setting performance on St. Patrick’s Day against the Grizzlies.
Remember when … Toney sank all those threes? He hit that huge three, then took a huger tumble in Game 1? He was momentarily excellent as Billups’s injury replacement in March? “Doing what Toney Douglas do” wasn’t always advisable?
6. Ronny Turiaf. (Last week: 6)
Superlatives: Best Hair, Best Personality.
Best games: Eight assists in a November win over the Warriors. Nineteen points and ten boards in a January win in Portland. Eleven points and four blocks in a March loss (first half blowout win, though!) to the Celtics.
Remember when … Ronny raved? Did football things? Had muscles? Toured us around Europe? Swatted folks? Knocked Gerald Wallace to the ground while grabbing a rebound, then helped him up while the ball was in play, then sprinted to the other end of the floor and scored? (Alas, there is no video evidence of this to be found).
7. Shawne Williams. (Last week: 7)
Superlatives: Best Comeback, Most Incontinent.
Best games: 10–12 shooting in his first three games of extended minutes (all wins to open the month of December).
Remember when … Shawne barely beat out Patrick Ewing Jr. for a roster spot? He tried to beat up Bill Walker in practice? He got a little saucy with Marvin Williams? He got semi-strangled by Ron Artest? He kind of dunked on Dwight Howard?
8. Anthony Carter. (Last week: 8)
Superlatives: Oldest, Feistiest, Most Likely to Have Tribal Tattoos
Best games: Ten points in a return to his hometown, Atlanta. Eleven points in a gutsy Game 4 performance against the Celtics.
Remember when … Anthony single-handedly willed the Knicks a sliver of playoff hope? He locked down Dwyane Wade? Mike Breen cited Anthony’s hardscrabble upbringing and hustlin’ past every time he did anything?
9. Bill Walker. (Last week: 9)
Superlatives: Most Headbanded, Most Irregular Minutes
Best games: Twenty-three points (twenty in the first half) in a near comeback over the Jazz in January. Perhaps that seven-point first quarter when Carmelo Anthony got in foul trouble in Game 1 in Boston?
10. Jared Jeffries. (Last week: 10)
Superlatives: Lankiest, Least Popular, Most Accident-Prone.
Best games: Most of the Celtics series, oddly enough.
Remember when … Jared upset this girl quite a bit? He hit a three-pointer in an April win over the Pacers, thus forming a hole in the space-time continuum and causing the entire universe to implode? He inexplicably attempted and missed dozens of lay-ups with his left hand, which may or may not have working fingers? We met Jared’s parents?
That’s all for Jared. What turnover? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
11. Shelden Williams. (Last week: 11)
Best games: Thirteen and seven in a March win over the Jazz. Ten and nine in a loss to the Bobcats.
Remember when … Shelden actually had his best highlight against the Knicks? He didn’t play a single minute in the playoffs?
12. Roger Mason. (Last week: 12)
Superlatives: Most Likely to Share a Name With a “King of Spoons.”
Best games: That stretch of a dozen or so games in March in which he was an actual rotation player, especially his ten-point outing in the win over the Grizzlies.
Remember when … Roger arose from the bench in a blowout win over the Hornets and drilled two jumpers after a month and a half straight of DNP-CDs?
13. Andy Rautins. (Last week: 13)
Superlatives: Most Canadian, Stiffest Hairdo, Biggest Flirt?
Best game: A career-high three points in a November loss to the Bucks!
Remember when … Andy lip-synced his way into our hearts? The Garden crowd chanted Andy onto the floor in a blowout victory over the Jazz?
14. Derrick Brown. (Last week: 14)
Superlatives: Most Mysterious, Springiest.
Best game: Eight points in a late-season bonanza against the Nets.
15. Renaldo Balkman. (Last week: 15)
Superlatives: Best Dressed.
Best game: The one against the Jazz in which he hit a garbage time three-pointer and saluted the crowd.
Remember when … the previously linked “Best Dressed” photo was appended to a tweet that read “Tough loss,” as if to suggest that he regretted falling to the Celtics, but also felt prepared for any pimp bar mitzvahs that might be taking place?
In Memoriam: Wilson Chandler’s big-ass dunks, Danilo Gallinari’s surprising-ass dunks, Raymond Felton’s bouncy game winner, Timofey Mozgov’s big night against the Pistons, the days when we thought Anthony Randolph might be useful.