A mixed bag from the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks on the court this past week has shifted things in the latest installment of the SB Nation New York NBA Power Rankings.
In the season-long battle to grab onto the top spot and avoid the Bottom Five, neither team wanted to put their best foot forward. Both teams were an uninspiring 1-3 since we last met here last week.
The movement here shows how quickly things can change in the greatest city in the world.
SB Nation New York Top Five
1. Carmelo Anthony
How does a player who missed a game and a half last week top the Power Rankings? Pretty simply, the Knicks showed that they're pretty much an uncompetitive team without 'Melo. He led the Knicks in points (27) and assists (5) in their impressive win over the 76ers on Wednesday, and was the Knicks' best player on Thursday in Memphis before leaving the game with a sprained ankle. With him totally absent against the Thunder on Saturday? The Knicks were totally outclassed.
2. MarShon Brooks
The Nets may have had a miserable West Coast road trip, but it had nothing to do with the play of their impressive rookie. Still recovering from an ankle injury, Brooks averaged 15 points a game, including a team-high 19 against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday.
3. Deron Williams
He's not firing on all cylinders yet, but Williams is getting a lot closer. To dig the Nets out of their early season snooze, he will need to live up to his All-NBA reputation the way he did against the Phoenix Suns Friday when he dropped 35 points and dished out 14 assists.
4. Tyson Chandler
Chandler had a breakout game last Monday in the Knicks' victory over the Bobcats, scoring 20 points and pulling down 13 boards. He had another 13 rebound effort in the win over the Sixers, despite only having three points in the game.
5. Kris Humphries
Though he escaped being booed in Utah as the Jazz fans concentrated their efforts on Williams, Humphries felt the wrath in every other game last week. All he did was respond with nearly 15 points and 8 rebounds while shooting an amazing 69 percent from the floor.
1. Iman Shumpert
The rook has shows some moments of brilliance, but Thursday's epic disaster against the Grizzlies was not one of them. Shumpert missed, missed, missed and missed some more, and didn't seem to realize that simply chucking the ball at the hoop doesn't guarantee that it's, you know, going in. You love his aggressiveness but when he's off and is dribbling into turnovers, he has to recognize and scale it back.
2. Anthony Morrow
He was quickly headed for the Top Five after finding his shooting stroke on the way to 23 and 12 points, but then disappeared against the Jazz and Clippers. With New Jersey desperately needing a three late in the game Monday, Morrow found himself nailed to the bench.
3. Amar'e Stoudemire
It's just been a terrible season for Stoudemire. His shooting percentages are down and he's having trouble getting any easy baskets. That's probably because the Knicks lack a floor general, and it's become clear that Stoudemire needs one to be effective. That's not what you want out of a max contact player, but with more weeks like last by Stoudemire, it's becoming increasingly apparent.
4. DeShawn Stevenson
The flagrant foul he dropped on Blake Griffin Monday night was pretty sweet, but it isn't enough to erase his play on the court. He made exactly one field goal on the last three games after sitting two due to a sore knee.
5. Landry Fields
It just isn't getting any better for the second year man. When Baron Davis comes back, will there be any minutes for him?
Where do the Knicks and Nets rank as a team in the latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings?
22. New York Knicks
The Knicks' efficiency differential is so bad -- just -0.6 points per 100 possessions. But the fact that it's come against one of the very softest schedules in the league is frightening. What happened to this offense? It scored 83, 85, 91 and 92 points last week.
26. New Jersey Nets
Deron Williams, though still shooting poorly, is coming around this season. If only the team has one more player -- just one -- who belonged in an NBA starting lineup.