The roller coaster that has been the 2011-12 NBA season for the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets continued this past week. The Knicks weren't able to win and while the Nets picked up two solid wins, they quickly headed south without the services of PG Deron Williams.
Not only has the Linsanity calmed down around MSG, but the rumored feud between Carmelo Anthony and Mike D'Antoni has reached a fever pitch for the Knicks that forced the head coach to resign.
Compounding the loss of center Brook Lopez with a calf strain for Williams has simply been too much for New Jersey to handle.The short-handed Nets stayed close with the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks but couldn't hold on in games that were vital to their slim playoff hopes.
SB Nation New York Top 5
Keep booing, folks. The Nets power forward seems to feed off the negative energy from opposing fans as he turned in another solid week. In addition to a monster effort against the Bucks with 31 points and 18 rebounds, Humphries also carried New Jersey to a win over the Charlotte Bobcats with 20 points and 15 boards.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire
Stoudemire has not been good this season, at all, but he seems to be starting to turn around his game a bit. Despite the Knicks losing all five of their games since our last rankings, over that span Stoudemire is averaging 20 points a game. More importantly he's shooting 585 from the field, a mark that is much more like it than his 46% for the season. It hasn't translated into wins for the now-dysfunctional Knicks, but Stoudemire may finally be coming around.
3. Gerald Green
It takes a lot these days to get excited about an in-game dunk. Green went to "a lot" and jumped four levels past that with his unreal windmill alley-oop throw down against the Rockets. The athletic forward isn't all dunks though, as he put up 26 points in the game vs. Houston and is finally giving New Jersey production at small forward.
Chandler earns this spot despite missing two games last week. The Knicks are a totally different team when Chandler isn't in the lineup, as their defense reverts back to what it looked like most of last year -- and most of D'Antoni's tenure during the Knicks -- and that's abysmal. In the two games since his return, he's averaged 10.5 points and 11 rebounds, as he continues to be one of the only consistent Knicks this season. He's also one of the only ones who visibly gives a damn
5. Jeremy Lin
He's averaged 16.6 points and 7.8 assists over the Knicks' last five games. If Lin can settle into those type of numbers, the Knicks will take that from their surprise starting point guard.
1. Mike D'Antoni
2. Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks would have been doomed if both D'Antoni and Anthony stayed around. As usual, the player won out in this dispute, but now the pressure is squarely on Anthony. If the Knicks star still cannot produce, it will fall on his shoulders and not the coach he couldn't get along with.
When the Nets were getting healthy, it was looking like Stevenson would be able to scale his minutes back. Instead, he has stayed in the rotation and continued to do anything productive. He averaged just 3.2 points and 2 rebounds this week. The emergence of Green could help keep him minutes down.
4. J.R. Smith
If you're going to start doing things like tweeting pictures of your girlfriend's backside, you better start hitting some shots, J.R.
5. Johan Petro
He is staying on this list until the Nets find a team silly enough to take him off their hands. Another empty week of games from the big man.