|2012-13 Team Rating|
|3rd Overall||15th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Tyson Chandler is one of the league's best centers, but isn't the same defensively as last season. Carmelo Anthony is having a huge offensive year, carrying a position that's been hit with injuries.
The Knicks' offense was rolling with Raymond Felton, but he missed the last month with a broken finger. Jason Kidd's shooting has cooled off, but he's been a critical influence on Anthony.
The Knicks defended well for the first few weeks of the season. Since then, they've been well below average. That has made it tougher to win consistently; sometimes the shots don't fall.
J.R. Smith still isn't a very efficient scorer, but he's been more reliable than in the past and has hit some big shots. Injuries have been the story for the rest of the Knicks' bench.
Mike Woodson is a candidate for the Coach of the Year award and has Anthony embracing a one-for-all mentality. But he hasn't been able to forge a top defense needed to become a true contender.
After a ridiculously hot start, the Knicks have come back down to earth somewhat. They started the season 18-5, but went 7-9 between Dec. 17 and Jan. 21. They're still the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, but could be in a dogfight for that position (with two or three different teams) in the last couple of months of the season.
Injuries have played a role in the slump. The Knicks were 20-8 with Felton. Without him, their pick-and-roll game has diminished. They also couldn't keep making 41 percent of their threes. But more concerning is the defensive regression, which started well before Felton (or Rasheed Wallace) got hurt.
The hope is that Iman Shumpert, back from offseason knee surgery, will stabilize the perimeter defense. If he can, then the Knicks can really stand out as the team most qualified to give the Heat a scare on their way back to The Finals.
At worst, New York will get its first playoff series win in 13 years.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|