After a brief hiatus, our Knicks Player Rankings are back. Based on how the Knicks have been playing as of late, it’s as though fourteen out of the 15 guys seem to be battling it out for the last spot in these rankings, not the top spot. That one’s been on lockdown all season, and I think you can Sharpie it for the rest of the season, too.
1. Carmelo Anthony (Last: 1) – Recently, Melo has been struggling a bit. And can you really blame him? The Knicks are getting routinely blown out, yet Anthony continues to play nearly 40 minutes a night (averaging 37 minutes in the Knicks’ last three losses, which the Knicks lost by 26, 23 and 19 points respectively). It’s fair to believe he’s a bit run down at this point, and there’s certainly a mental aspect to this, too. Even if you’re of the opinion that Melo selfishly came to the Knicks via trade and by doing so stripped the team of all its flexibility and ability to craft a winning team around him (I’m not), I don’t think Melo quite expected this. At this point, he has to be pretty beaten down. And with all that said, he’s still averaging 30 and 7, shooting 45/47/90 (FT%/3P%/FT%) in the last five games. But, you know, he’s selfish or whatever and Joakim Noah passes more, or something.
Now, as has been the case for most of this entire season, nobody has really come close to Anthony, or is really deserving of a No. 2 spot, even on a team that’s 21-39. So how about we spend some time focusing on others who are more deserving of the No. 2 spot?
Mike Breen - Another solid season from the Fordham University product, who continues to subtly lay into the Knicks while balancing things out with enough company-line stuff so that he keeps his job. Remember that the Knicks fired Marv Albert, so Breen knows that he can’t just go all-out like any one of us would want to if we were him (and had the platform to do so).
Clyde Frazier – As usual, Clyde remains one of the sole reasons to even bother putting a Knicks game on your television in the first place. This year, the Knicks’ awful “Switch Everything” defense has provided Clyde with the perfect crutch for the times he’s asked by Breen or Spero Dedes to break down a play or explain what just happened, because he has something easy to default to when the Knicks give up a basket. Because other than that, Clyde never really attempts to go very deep into why something on the court has happened. Which is totally cool! That’s what Chris Herring is for.
Chris Herring – The Wall Street Journal’s Knicks beat writer is the best in the biz. If we did Beat Writer Power Rankings (like our masters over at TOJ do), he’d be the unquestioned pound-for-pound king.
Mike “Wally” Walczewski – The Knicks’ P.A. announcer at the Garden keeps piling up great season after great season. And this one is a tough one to prosper in, given the Knicks’ awful home performance and lack of new, impact names to work with. His call for Carmelo Anthony (Carmellllloooooooo ANNN-tho-nayyyyy!) may be a Top-5 all-time Wally name (Off the top of my head, my rankings would be: Patrick Ewing, Latrell Sprewell, Stephon Marbury, Carmelo Anthony and David Lee).
All of those people are turning in fine seasons. The guys below are not. They don’t even deserve to be ranked. Hell, you could throw them into a random order generator and get a ranking that makes perfect sense. Iman Shumpert 2nd? Sure! Kenyon Martin 12th? Why not? Earl Clark 5th? You bet! Actually, let’s put the remaining 14 Knicks into a list randomizer, see what comes out, and get our rankings that way!
2. Tyson Chandler
3. Pablo Prigioni
4. Cole Aldrich
5. Kenyon Martin
6. Iman Shumpert
7. Toure Murry
8. Shannon Brown
9. Andrea Bargnani
10. Amare Stoudemire
11. J.R. Smith
12. Tim Hardaway, Jr.
13. Jeremy Tyler
14. Raymond Felton
15. Earl Clark
Poor Earl Clark. For full disclosure, photo evidence of our results is provided below: