New York Knicks Report Card: Grades for All Key Players Through First Quarter
After starting the season 6-4, the Knicks have lost six straight to fall to 6-10. The main culprit is an offense that hasn't been nearly as efficient as it usually has been under Mike D'Antoni.
The Knicks have scored over 100 points only five times this season. They are only averaging 96.7 ppg, as opposed to the 105.7 they averaged last season.
Here are grades for all the key Knicks through the first quarter of the season.
The Knicks brought Bibby in this offseason hoping he’d be a serviceable backup point guard, but he’s only disappointed. Not only hasn’t he been able to distribute the ball, but he’s also been missing jump shots that he’s hit his entire career.
Other than two back-to-back games where he was perfect from three-point range, Bibby is shooting only 3-for-20 from distance this season.
He’s already started to fall out of the Knicks' rotation, playing 10 or fewer minutes in the Knicks' last four games.
With Jared Jeffries injured and playing in only six games so far this season, Harrellson has been the Knicks' primary big man off the bench. He was even asked to start in his fourth career game when Amar’e Stoudemire was injured and had his first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Harrellson has been putting in great effort on both the offensive and defensive boards.
My only complaint is that he’s been taking too many three-point shots. He’s shot 45 threes, which is fifth amongst all rookies. I guess it doesn't matter now anyway, as Harrellson has a broken wrist and will be out close to two months.
This is by far the worst Bill Walker has played as a Knick.
His main role is to be a scorer off the bench. But last season he had a higher average than he does this season, even though he's playing seven more minutes a game this year.
Walker is putting up career shooting lows in all facets of the game. In his career, he has never had a worse field-goal, three-point and free-throw percentage, so I don’t expect Walker to be in the Knicks' rotation much longer.
There is no other grade you could give Toney Douglas but an F.
There were extremely high expectations for him as the Knicks' starting point guard, and he hasn’t lived up to them at all.
He has been terrible at distributing the ball. Even with two of the best scorers in the league on his team, Douglas still is averaging only 2.3 assists per game. He has also been shooting terribly this season, making only 24 percent of his three-point shots.
Douglas has been playing so poorly that he lost his starting spot to a rookie.
After his stellar rookie season, Landry Fields’ play has significantly dropped off.
His rebounding has fallen off the most from last season. Last season, Fields was one of the leading rebounders in the NBA amongst guards, but this season he is nowhere near the top of that list.
Fields’ shooting has also drastically declined. His three-point accuracy has dropped from 40 percent all the way to 20 percent, his field-goal accuracy has fallen from 50 to 46 percent.
But he has turned this around a little in the past three games, scoring in double figures in all three.
Iman Shumpert has been one of the biggest surprises from last year’s draft. When the Knicks selected him 17th overall, no one expected he would be starting by his fourth game.
Shumpert has lived up to his reputation as a lock-down defender. He is second in the league in steals with 2.56 per game, only behind Chris Paul. He is also the first rookie since Chris Paul to average more than two steals a game.
Shumpert has also made significant contributions on offense. His passing has turned out to be better than advertised, and his ability to drive to the basket is well above average.
If he could become a more consistent shooter, he could improve his grade to an A+ by midseason.
Tyson Chandler has done almost everything the Knicks have asked of him. After a slow first four games, he is averaging 10.9 rebounds per game in January. He has also been shooting the ball well, converting 67 percent of his field-goal attempts.
His grade would be higher if he was playing a little better defense. Chandler has been getting beat a little too often by weaker opponents and is only averaging 1.4 blocks per game.
Even though Amar’e Stoudemire is averaging 18 points and eight rebounds, there has clearly been something off about his game.
He has been shooting the ball terribly, missing many open jumpers that he hit regularly last season. He has also been wild with his drives to the basket and has constantly been getting called for charges.
Stoudemire’s defense has been terrible like usual. He is one of the most athletic players in the NBA, but still constantly gets beat off the dribble by slower players.
I also don’t understand how someone with his athleticism and size can only average 0.5 blocks per game.
It definitely hasn’t helped that the defensively-challenged D’Antoni has been Stoudemire’s coach in Phoenix and with the Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony’s statistics aren’t a good representation of how he’s been playing.
He’s fourth in the league in scoring, but is attempting more than 21 shots per game and only hitting 40 percent of them. The offense becomes stagnant once the ball reaches Anthony, as he is forcing up a lot of unnecessary shots.
The main reason Anthony’s grade is so low is because he is the leader of this team, and much is expected of him. Whenever a crucial situation arises, the ball is in his hands.
I expect him to turn this season around for the Knicks, and still expect them to salvage a decent playoff spot by the end of the season.