Since our last edition of the SBNation New York NBA Power Rankings, there was a seismic event in New York area basketball. Out went Mike D'Antoni as head coach of the Knicks, and in came Mike Woodson in the interim. The Knicks have responded by going 3-0 under Woodson.
As for the Nets, they acquired Gerald Wallace from the Portland TrailBlazers, but unfortunately it looks as though he might be their marquee guy in the move to Brooklyn next year. With Dwight Howard re-upping in Orlando for another year, Deron Williams is expected to test the free agency waters this summer. For a week at least, it seems as if the two teams are going in opposite directions.
SBNation New York Top 5
1. Mike Woodson
With the resignation of Mike D'Antoni last Wednesday, in stepped Woodson as the interim coach. The immediate results? A renewed energy, a stiffer defense, and a 3-0 record. Sure, in just three games it's impossible to say that Woodson is a savior of any sort. But the Knicks have no doubt responded to the changing of the guard.
Anthony was going to come under some fire for D'Antoni's resignation, as most believe it was his unhappiness with the coach that led to the "mutual" parting of the ways. Now it's time for Anthony to put up or shut up, and while he hasn't put up gigantic numbers since D'Antoni left, he's been efficient. He's averaged 5 assists per game in the 3-game winning streak. The Knicks haven't been in a close game late in the fourth quarter under Woodson yet, and when that happens, you'll see Anthony get the lion's share of the touches. As he should.
3. Gerald Green
In what has been a disastrous final season in New Jersey, there have been few pleasant surprises. Green has been the rare exception, turning a couple 10-day contracts into a deal for the rest of the season thanks to another solid week. He started off with a 26 point effort against the Toronto Raptors in the Nets only win on Wednesday night and averaged over 15 points.
4. Deron Williams
He missed the Nets first two games of the week, but returned Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets and didn't miss a beat. Turning in performances of 20 and 28 points, Williams continues to be the only consistent option head coach Avery Johnson has on offense. The frustration is building with Williams, but it hasn't hurt his production.
5. J.R. Smith
Despite being a headache as expected (like tweeting a picture of his girlfriend's butt, and earning a technical for hanging on the rim late in a blowout against the Pacers) Smith has provided the Knicks with some hot shooting off the bench. After not scoring last Monday against the Bulls, Smith is averaging over 16 points per game in the Knicks' last three games. A lot of his points came in garbage time, but Smith finding his stroke is a good sign for the Knicks.
SBNation New York Bottom 5
1. Mike D'Antoni
The mutual parting of ways by D'Antoni and the Knicks last Wednesday proved that D'Antoni is a stubborn, one-dimensional coach. Him and Carmelo Anthony were never a good fit, but it's pretty tough to call yourself an "offensive genius" when you can't fashion a consistent offense with the likes of Anthony and Amare Stoudemire on your roster. D'Antoni is married to his ball movement, heavy-on-spacing offense where the focal point is the point guard. He's simply lost in any other scenario.
Think of this: Pat Riley successfully guided the "Showtime" Lakers of the 80s, a team that ran through Magic Johnson, its best player. When Riley came to the Knicks in the early 90s, he didn't force that same style on a roster that wasn't shaped for it. He knew better than to play run-and-gun through Derek Harper. He saw the roster (Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, John Starks) and ran a slow-down, drag it out style through its best player, Ewing. He adapted. Mike D'Antoni has just a bout proven that he can't. That's the last time D'Antoni and Riley should be mentioned in the same sentence.
2. Kris Humphries
A rare below average week for the power forward. In what has been a second fantastic season with New Jersey, Humphries didn't have any luck on offense, but at least he still managed to pull down nearly 13 rebounds per game.
3. MarShon Brooks
Along with Green, the rookie from Providence has been a bright spot for New Jersey. It would appear, however, Brooks has hit a wall. He struggled with his shot all week, headlined by an atrocious 1-for-11 against the Magic. Things didn't get much better as the week wrapped up with the Cleveland Cavaliers holding him to 3-for-10 from the field.
4. Baron Davis
This isn't for Davis' on-court performance, but rather his hard luck in getting injured last Friday against the Pacers. Davis needs to be healthy, because if not, Mike Bibby will be forced to play minutes.
5. Sundiata Gaines
It's never a good sign when you are immediately replaced in the rotation by a D-League call-up. That's exactly what happened this week with Gaines and Jerry Smith from the Springfield Armor.
Here is where SBNation's Tom Ziller has the Knicks and Nets ranked in his latest NBA Power Rankings:
15. New York Knicks: Mike Woodson hasn't inspired this much excitement since everyone noticed he burned off his eyebrows in a freak chemistry experiment.