Highs and lows of the 2010-11 Knicks
The 2010-11 season has been a roller coaster ride for the Knicks. We take a look at the highs and lows for some of the key members of the team.
Compiled by Anthony Castellano & Bob Bonett
HIGH: Stoudemire scored 30-plus points in nine straight games (Nov. 28-Dec. 15), a franchise record. The Knicks won eight of those nine games.
LOW: Stoudemire looked drained and tired as the Knicks lost six games in a row and nine of 10 from March 10-26. It’s no surprise his low point of the year coincided with the team’s worst stretch of games. In those 10 games, Stoudemire scored 20 or less points five times. March was brutal when it came to the workload for Stoudemire. It was only the third time in his career he played in at least 17 games in a single month.
HIGH: After months of speculation, Carmelo Anthony finally became a Knick on Feb. 22 and scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds in his debut at Madison Square Garden. It was billed as ‘Melo’s homecoming and the Garden had a playoff atmosphere. Finally, the Knicks had obtained that elusive second player they missed out on in the offseason.
LOW: Carmelo became frustrated in March in the midst of the Knicks’ six-game losing streak. He scored only six points on March 18 against the Detroit Pistons. Finally, the novelty of having Anthony in New York wore off. Following this game, he stormed off the court and didn’t address the media. During a timeout in the game, ‘Melo sat with a towel over his head as the rest of the team huddled together in a timeout. Soon after, Anthony was faced with whether or not he was going to be a team player and share the ball. He eventually apologized and the situation blew over.
HIGH: Billups was “the other guy” in the Carmelo Anthony trade. But he got off to a quick start and emerged as possibly the most important piece in the trade and gave the Knicks their own “Big Three.” Billups made his presence felt scoring 20-plus points in three of his first four games.
LOW: On March 1, Billups suffered a bruised left quadriceps muscle and had to leave the game. He would miss the next six games, and in his absence the Knicks would go 3-3. He would only score nine points in his return on March 13 and showed plenty of rust and lack of mobility from the injury.
HIGH: Fields has had a few good moments during his rookie season. He is one of six rookies who are starting regularly for an NBA team this season. The other five are Washington's John Wall, Philadelphia's Evan Turner, Minnesota's Wesley Johnson, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and the Clippers' Eric Bledsoe . Only Turner and Cousins are playoff-bound, along with Landry. Fields dropped 25 points on Feb. 6 in a win over Philadelphia.
LOW: Fields scored three or fewer points in three games from March 28 - April 3 . In 10 games from March 17-April 3 , he only hit double-digits twice. Fields had started every game until March 26 when coach Mike D’Antoni went with Toney Douglas to try and shake things up.
HIGH: On March 17, Douglas tied a Knicks record by hitting nine three-pointers in a single game. He finished with 29 points on the night against the Indiana Pacers.
LOW: He shot worse than 38 percent in both December and January.
HIGH: The well-liked Jeffries returned to the Knicks after he was traded to the Houston Rockets in February 2010 in the Tracey McGrady deal. He was able to workout a buyout with the Rockets, and the Knicks signed him.
LOW: After starting eight of his first 10 games with the Knicks, Jeffries has only started one out of his last nine (March 20-April 5).
HIGH: Mike D'Antoni praised Williams for his defense against LeBron James in a 93-88 win over the Heat at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 27. James scored 24 points (7-for-24) with 11 rebounds and five assist.
HIGH: Walker scored a season-high 23 points in a 131-125 loss to the Utah Jazz in January.
LOW: There have been many stretches of games where Walker has not been called off the bench to play. The longest stretch being six games from March 17-25.
HIGH: Clinching a playoff spot probably meant just as much to coach Mike D’Antoni as it did to his players, especially when you consider he has been there longer than everyone on the roster (not counting Jared Jeffries who left and came back to the franchise). D’Antoni had a lot of pressure on him to get this team into the playoffs once they signed Amar’e Stoudemire in the offseason and traded for Carmelo Anthony in February.
LOW: D’Antoni has tried to balance the task of transitioning a Knicks roster that received a major facelift at the deadline. It hasn’t always been pretty as the team has struggled even with Anthony and Stoudemire. He admitted in late March that he was “grasping at straws a little bit” to find the right mix.
HIGH: Walsh’s high came in the offseason when he was able to convince free agent Amar’e Stoudemire to sign with the Knicks. Finally, the Knicks captured a high-profile free agent to play under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. If Amar’e doesn’t sign with the Knicks, does Anthony come to the Knicks in the February trade?
LOW: It hasn’t been an easy season for Walsh who has had to deal with medical issues and constant rumors that Isiah Thomas is the general manager in waiting. Walsh has had to answer questions about his future and expiring contract while trying to guide the Knicks to the playoffs.