Check out the SB Nation NY Power Rankings. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
There are a lot of great NBA Power Rankings on the web (none better than those on SB Nation) but the only place to get the pulse of the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets is right here on SB Nation New York with our new weekly top 10 feature.
The two local teams only play each other three times during the lockout-shortened season, but they will compete here every week for the top spot in the Power Rankings. They will also be fighting to stay out of the dreaded Bottom Five, a rundown of the worst Knicks and Nets performers.
Our first SB Nation New York Power Rankings try to show who owns the court beyond just the records.
SB Nation New York Top 10
This is a bit of a ceremonial choice, as Shumpert has become the most cheered-for Knick at Madison Square Garden this season. Last week, the rookie made his return after missing four games due to a sprained MCL, and didn't miss a beat. He hit double figures in each of his three appearances last week, and by last Saturday he crept into the starting lineup against the Detroit Pistons. He'll likely stay there for a very long time.
Anthony is the Knicks' best player, and he seems to have taken it upon himself to try and get the Knicks out of their early-season rut. Perhaps a bit too much so, as he's often forcing shots, but he did have three 30-plus point outputs last week despite underwhelming shooting numbers. His three pointer late against the Wizards kept the Knicks from a disastrous early season loss, and for now, seemed to have saved the Knicks season.
He hasn't lived up to his superstar tag through the Nets first 11 games, but Williams is still far and away the best weapon the team has every night. After sitting out with a sore side, the point guard returned to the floor Friday night to lead New Jersey past the Toronto Raptors with 24 points and nine assists. While the losing has frustrated Williams, he has made a conscious effort to improve his body language during difficult stretches.
Last week saw Chandler slowly start to turn the corner and become the player the Knicks envisioned when they signed him. After a slow start, Chandler had two double-doubles last week, including a solid 12-point 15-rebound (9 offensive rebound) performance in the win over Washington
5. MarShon Brooks
Much like Shumpert, Brooks has quickly become one of the most popular players on his team. The rookie believes he can score against anyone at anytime and it shows in his stats (14.4 ppg). He sat out one game last week because of a bum ankle, but quickly returned and by Monday was in the starting lineup putting up 19 points against the Atlanta Hawks.
6. Amar'e Stoudemire
Stoudemire has put up good numbers on the surface. Last week he had two double-doubles in the three games he played (he missed the Knicks' loss to the Raptors on Jan. 2 due to injury), but his shooting numbers were pretty poor. Additionally, he loses some points in my book because of continued poor defense (Boris Diaw?).
Boo this! The former reality TV star has thrived off the constant heckling he receives on the road due to his 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian. All he's doing is dominating the boards, averaging 10.6 rebounds. Last week Humphries also showed what he can do offensively, pouring in 25 against LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
8. Mike Bibby
Bibby finally rose from the dead last week, putting together two straight strong performances in the Knicks' wins over the Wizrads and Pistons. In those two wins, Bibby was a perfect 7-7 from beyond the arc, which is exactly the reason he's in a Knicks' uniform to begin with.
After struggling so mightily out of the gate that he was replaced in the starting lineup, Morrow has finally started to bounce back. Over his last three games he has averaged 18.3 points while hitting on 57 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. For a team desperate for offense, Morrow will need to keep lighting it up from long range if the Nets are going to turn things around.
10. Shelden Williams
Yes, things have gone so poorly for the Nets this season that "The Landlord" is one of the bright spots. He is one of only three players to appear in every game this season (Morrow and Shawne Williams are the others) and has been a solid contributor since the first of the year, averaging over 24 minutes per game. He's no Candace Parker, but Williams is getting the job done as a role player so far.
After two OK performances to start the week - both in Knicks' losses however - Douglas was shutout in 18 total minutes in the wins against the Wizards and Pistons. He lost his starting job after his a bad showing in the first half against the Wizards, one that saw the Knicks go down big against the worst team in the league. Iman Shumpert has usurped Douglas in the starting lineup for now and for the forseeable future.
Remember how playing overseas was going to help Farmar turn in a breakout season? Yea, that hasn't so much happened. He's barely been able to crack Avery Johnson's rotation and when he has his the floor he's been average at best.
Remember when he was untouchable in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks?
4. Mehmet Okur
Note to self: when a player and his agent claim said player is healthy, expect an injury within two weeks. Trying to fill the gap left by Brook Lopez' foot injury, Okur pulled up lame Friday against the Toronto Raptors on a missed layup and has been on the sidelines ever since. He might turn out to be decent, but he's not going to make anyone forget about Lopez anytime soon.
After joining the Nets out of shape, Stevenson has taken his time getting his wind while averaging a whopping 3.9 points and one rebound. Even facing his arch nemesis, LeBron James, couldn't get him going as the Heat star dropped 32 points on the veteran. A LeBron stopper he is not.
Where do the Knicks and Nets rank as a team in the latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings? Let's check it out.
18. New York Knicks
So inconsistent on offense that they couldn't rack up points on the Raptors; so putrid on defense that they allowed the Bobcats to drop 118 in a regulation game. But hey, they are better than the Wizards and Pistons!
29. New Jersey Nets
Without Deron Williams, the Nets are worse than even the Wizards. They are worse than the 2009-10 Nets. But with D-Will, the Nets are merely crummy. Here's to hoping Williams stays healthy!