I know I am a few games late to the mid-season mark but work and a life has prevented me from being on time. Either way, this is where I look back at the season so far and give my grade on The Knicks and key contributors.
Amar’e Stoudemire: A+ Despite a recent funk by the team and a less a few less than Amar’e like performances, he has been all that a bag of chips. He has exceeded my expectations on the court and in the lockerroom. Possibly the best free agent signing of the year, Lebron James included.
Raymond Felton: B. Ray Ray was on his way to an A rating until the last few weeks. He is either being slowed down by some injuries or just was over achieving. He has played above my expectations so far thus year. He was knocking on the door of an Allstar appearance next month but his recent play might have prevented it. He probably can use the rest anyways.
Wilson Chandler: B- Wilson has pretty much done what I expected of him this season overall. He started off a little slow then heated up to the point where he had many of us questioned whether we wanted Carmelo Anthony or not. He has tapered off and is not in a bit of a slump but he has played solid for us on both ends of the court and I am pretty positive he will return to form.
Danilo Gallanari: C- Gallanari has been a disappointment for me personally. I expected him to take a big step forward this year as a player. I can argue that he took a step back. During the summer if you asked me who was going to make a bigger impact him or Wilson Chandler, I would have put all my money on Gallo. Thank god I don’t bet. I personally feel Gallo’s own worst enemy is himself. He needs to assert himself more on the court and demand his shots instead of waiting for everyone to get him involved at their discretion. Everyone in the NBA has talent, it’s what you do with that talent that determines the level of individual success. Gallo has not figured that out yet.
Landry Fields: A Landry Fields is the poster child for taking advantage of opportunity. I would have never thought he would be this productive. I was not even sure if he would play. He is a rookie who plays like a veteran. Very rarely does he make mistakes on the court or force shots. He just plays within the system and before you know it he finished with around 10 points and 7 rebounds and a whole much of hustle. You need guys like this on your team. Zeke must have advised Donnie on this draft choice. =)
Ronny Turiaf: B Ronny was supposed to be a throw in as part of the David Lee sign and trade. He has helped us in our most deficient area. Size and Toughness. Charles Oakley Lite some like to call him. I will not go that far but he has been a welcome addition. He is very limited offensively but we have enough scorers on this team. Someone has to bring that blue collar mentality to the court.
Toney Douglas: D+ I personally had high expectation for TD this season. He started off looking like he would surpass them but then fell into the doghouse of many Knick fans and probably D’Antoni’s aswell. Despite his imperfections and bad decisions, he does do one thing consistently. PLAY HARD! I wanted to give him a C- because of effort but effort is only so good. He has looked better over the last few games and is always all over the floor defensively. He has some maturing to do but I personally believe it will be worth the wait.
Shawne Williams: B+ Talk about appearing out of nowhere. While many fans were upset that the Knicks picked up Williams and let Ewing Jr go. Williams decided to just work out on his game and show the fans what he is capable of. His 3 point shot has come up big in many games and only appears to be getting better. Great pick-up. Let’s hope his success does not get to his head and lead to some more poor decisions off the court.
Bill Walker: C I personally did not expect much out of Bill Walker so anything he games us was considered a bonus in my mind. He did start off playing and doing some good things then was sent to the bench for whatever reason only to re-emerge again and contribute. I am still not sure what his ceiling is but I have a feeling he’s right where he should be.
I’m not going to bother with Randolph or Mozgov although they deserve an F in my mind just for not working themself into rotation. Rautins was not going to play so he gets a pass and Azubuike is having health issues. Eddy Curry? I forgot he’s even on the team. Seriously. Roger Mason Jr has been the biggest disappointment to me out of all these guys. He was lights out in San Antonio. I have no idea what happened to his game. Maybe he is like Sampson and when he cut his hair he lost his strength.
Overall: B The team was on their way to an A but losing 6 in a row made it impossible to give them that grade. I’d like to think we can win 46 games this season and if we do that will be an A+ for the season.