The NBA All-Star break is always a good opportunity to reflect back on things that we saw during the first half of the season.
As things pertain to the New York Knicks, we have seen a story of two different teams so far on the season.
First there was the dominant team that defended, moved the ball and shot very well on almost a game-by-game basis.
Then we have the Knicks team we have seen as of late.
The team that doesn’t defend well, relies mostly on isolation and doesn’t shoot the rock particularly great on most nights.
The results for the most part have been very good as the Knicks at 32-18 sit second in the eastern Conference, only
With that being said, let’s take a look back on the first half of the season and hand out individual grades to everyone on the Knicks roster.
Raymond Felton (38 GP, 14.9 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 40.4 FG%, 35.8 3P%, 15.3 PER)
Felton saves his best for when he wears a Knicks uniform. He has been the engine that has made the Knicks offense and to say they were a different team without him would be an understatement. The numbers are nice but the shooting percentages have been going down and the turnovers have been going up, which are both concerns. But overall it was a nice first half for Felton. Grade: B
Iman Shumpert (13 GP, 5.3 PPG, 1.5 APG, 3.4 RPG, 0.7 SPG, 33.8 FG%, 41.4 3P%, 10.2 PER)
Everyone felt that as soon as Shump returned from injury the Knicks perimeter defense would fall into place, but that hasn’t been the case. Shumpert looks a step slow, which is probably to be expected coming off knee surgery. It’s also concerning how awful he has been shooting the rock (33.8 percent). It’s hard to give Shump an accurate grade due to the fact that he has only played 13 games, but he hasn’t been the shot in the arm that Knicks fans hoped he would. His grade is giving him the benefit of the doubt as it should be a little worse. Grade: C-
Jason Kidd (45 GP, 7.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 4.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 39.3 FG%, 38.8 3P%, 14.9 PER)
Kidd started the season great and while he has tailed off as of late in terms of production, he has still been very good. Much of what Kidd does on the floor doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. While Kidd has been a leader and does all of the little things a team needs, his shooting percentages have plummeted the past 20 games, which is a big red flag. Grade: B
Carmelo Anthony (43 GP, 28.6 PPG, 2.7 APG, 6.5 RPG, 0.8 SPG, 44.7 FG%, 40.5 3p%, 23.8 PER)
‘Melo is an MVP candidate and that should say it all. He has shown at times that he is all about winning, playing team basketball at both ends of the floor, which shows he understands what it means to lead. Yet there has been times when we have seen “”MeloBall” cost the Knicks games. Overall though, Anthony has answered all of the questions about him during the first half of the season. Grade: A
Tyson Chandler (50 GP, 11.4 PPG, 1.0 APG, 11.1 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 67.3 FG%, 20.4 PER)
Chandler was supposed to have some help defending the paint this season, but that hasn’t happened. He has made his first All-Star team and has been simply outstanding at both ends of the floor, which no other Knicks player can claim. We all know about the impact that Chandler has had on the Knicks’ defense, but he leads the NBA in field goal percentage by a wide margin. If he got a few more touches per game, he would easily be averaging a double-double at this point. Grade: A+
Amar’e Stoudemire (20 GP, 13.6 PPG, 0.5 APG, 4.8 RPG, 0.4 SPG, 0.75 BPG, 55.9 FG%, 22.1 PER)
What role will STAT have when he comes back? Will Stoudemire be able to handle coming off the bench? Those are the questions that Stoudemire has answered with a resounding YES! It’s only been 20 games, but STAT is looking outstanding coming off the Knicks’ bench. He still struggles defensively, but he has been nothing short of great. In addition he has a PER of 22 coming off the bench playing a little over 22 minutes. That’s not easy to do. Grade: A
J.R. Smith (50 GP, 16.2 PPG, 2.8 APG, 5.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 40.0 FG%, 34.0 3P%, 15.5 PER)
Smith has had his moments where he has proven to be a legitimate second scoring option and has helped carry the offense at times when Anthony was out with injuries. But for every game winning shot or solid offensive performance, there have been games where he has shot the Knicks out of a possible win. Smith has been good, but he is not efficient and his shooting percentages are brutal. But he has done so much more to help this team so far than score the ball, which show’s Smith’s true value. Grade: B-
Steve Novak (49 GP, 6.9 PPG, 0.5 APG, 1.9 RPG, 42.3 FG%, 44.7 3P%, 11.4 PER)
Novak is once again shooting an outstanding percentage from behind the arc, but he is only getting off a little more than four shots per game. That’s down from the six three-pointers he averaged per game during the season’s first month. There are reasons why Novak isn’t getting many looks and some of it has to do with the Knicks being unselfish. But if Novak isn’t banging three’s, he has little other value. Grade: C
James White (34 GP, 1.8 PPG, 45.6 FG%, 33.3 3p%, 8.3 PER)
White hasn’t done much but is a nice depth piece who is shooting a good percentage from the floor. Grade: D+
Chris Copeland (32 GP, 6.3 PPG, 0.3 APG, 1.3 RPG, 47.5 FG%, 37.1 3p%, 16.2 PER)
Copeland has done some very good things this year, mostly when it comes to scoring. But he is another guy that offers very little value in any other area, especially defensively. Grade: C
Rasheed Wallace (20 GP, 7.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.65 SPG, 0.75 BPG, 38.8 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 16.9 PER)
Wallace being out of the lineup has hurt the Knicks much more than anyone thought it would when he was originally signed. He shooting percentages leave a lot to be desired, but his communication on the defensive end of the floor was a big part of the Knicks early season success. Grade: B-
Ronnie Brewer (45 GP, 3.7 PPG, 0.9 APG, 2.2 RPG, 0.8 SPG, 36.8 G%, 31.0 3P%, 10.3 PER)
Brewer got off to a good start but has hit rock bottom as of late. He has struggled mightily offensively and hasn’t lived up to his reputation as a great perimeter defender. Grade: D-
Pablo Prigioni (49 GP, 3.4 PPG, 2.9 APG, 1.6 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 46.0 FG%, 40.6 3P%, 13.2 PER)
The 35-year old rookie has had his moments this season. He brings it defensively and keeps his teammates involved. He may be the most unselfish player on the roster. Sometimes he is too unselfish as Prigioni shoots a good percentage from the floor but rarely looks to shoot the ball. The only knock on Prigioni has been consistency as he has trouble putting together back-to-back solid efforts. Grade: C
Marcus Camby (14 GP, 2.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.8 BPG, 36.4 FG%, 10.6 PER)
It’s hard to call someone more of a disappointment than Brewer, but Camby has been exactly that. The Knicks needed him to be a solid backup to Chandler and he just hasn’t been healthy enough to contribute. When he has been healthy, other than four starts, he has had difficulty breaking into Mike Woodson’s rotation, averaging only 10 minutes per contest. He is making well over $3 million this season to provide a lot more than three rebounds per night. Grade: F
Kurt Thomas (30 GP, 2.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 55.9 FG%, 14.9 PER)
In his little bit of playing time per game, Thomas gives the Knicks some defense and rebounding and then takes a seat. He knows his role and does his job when called upon, including shooting over 55 percent from the floor. Grade: C
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