In his typically excellent Knicks Power Rankings over at NYMag.com, Seth Rosenthal flags Raymond Felton for his stuggles in the month of December, particularly his shooting:
Raymond Felton. (Last week: 4) Yeah, Kidd gets some blame, but it’s mostly Felton who’s been getting scorched by opposing guards. Whether he’s fighting over a pick or ducking beneath it, Felton loses track of any even remotely speedy guard attempting to penetrate. Not helping matters: Despite revealing that he’s got bone bruises on both hands, Ray’s been calling his own number more than ever. The Knicks need someone else to step up when Melo sits, but Felton chucking pull-up twenty-footers with two busted paws doesn’t feel like the ideal solution.
Now, the defensive problems are a bit alarming, and go in line with a general weakening on the defensive end from the whole team, but Felton’s problems on offense are somewhat tricky. Felton has been gamely playing through bone bruises in both hands. It not only sounds painful, but the hands, as you may know, loom prominently in the art of shooting. No one has yet mastered any form of shooting that would not require the hands, though I’m sure someone is out there working on it.
But given that’s the case, one might think Felton would look to shoot less, and instead focus more on setting up his teammates. The problem there, of course, is that the Knicks have played without Carmelo Anthony for four games this month, leaving Felton as one of the few Knicks who can create his own offense.
Felton’s shooting has naturally regressed since his torrid start to the season, but really his struggles from the field just serve to highlight how nice it will be when the Knicks are able to get both Anthony and Stoudemire back in the rotation. Ray Ray has gallantly stepped in to try and pick up some of the scoring slack, but the Knicks will be better served when his focus is back to distributing the ball.