New York has hit the unofficial halfway point in the NBA?season. Jeremy
Lin has been a massive surprise, Melo has been hurt, D’Antoni has hung
on to a job. Metro grades the team so far.
Before Jeremy Lin appeared on the scene, Melo was dominating the ball and scoring lots of points. But he’s shooting under 40 percent and still needs to mesh with Lin. Their chemistry will determine a lot.
His statistics (17.5 ppg, 8 rpg) don’t tell the real story. As of late he’s been short of the superstar he was expected to be. Since returning Feb. 14, he’s averaging 15.1 ppg and 7.4 rpg.
What other grade could we give Lin? We don’t need to rehash the underdog story. On the court he’s been the point guard D’Antoni’s system needed. The second half of the year will show if he’s anything more.
He’s benefited more from Lin than just about anyone. Since Lin’s been starting he’s averaging 11 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Those are the numbers he showed as a rookie starting out.
Fans were expecting a defensive stalwart and they got it. He’s a big reason the defense is seventh in the East?in points allowed. His 11.7 ppg and 9.5 rpg are both improvements from last year.
The early season rookie surge role was manned by Shumpert this year instead of Fields. His defense has been outstanding (2 spg) and he’s contributing 10.3 points per game also.
Grade: C This grade should be an Incomplete so far, but he could play a crucial role on this team. He’s the one and only real point guard besides Jeremy Lin. He needs to be better than what he’s shown.
Remember when Toney Douglas played for the Knicks? What? He’s still on the roster? OK, so it’s not really his fault he’s not a point guard. He just doesn’t fit on this team anywhere.
How do you grade a coach who was on the brink of being fired Feb. 4 and is now running a team with, hypothetically, the perfect point guard and a 9-3 record since he took over? Well, the best we can do is split it down the middle. D’Antoni’s job is saved as long as Lin keeps the team winning. And as long as they make the playoffs. If they lose in the first round of the playoffs, his grade will teeter into D territory and he will likely be fired.