Carmelo Anthony: Third in MVP Voting, the NBA’s leading scorer, played the playoffs with a busted shoulder and still led the team in scoring game in and game out. Carmelo Anthony maybe had his best season as a pro. He came back from winning Gold in the Olympics and had the look of a man on a mission. Yes that mission fell short but it certainly was not his fault. Carmelo Anthony hustled like he never had before, played respectable defense and battled all kinds of injuries. He is the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing in his prime. It is a pleasure watching him play basketball and helping him get that elusive first championship has to be #1 on the list of any Knicks player that is on the team now and into the future. The shoulder injury does leave his summer and training camp availability as a question mark for now but we have to just wait and see. At the end of the day, this is the best player on the team and you should enjoy his play while he is here, because it’s awesome.
Tyson Chandler: A disastrous post season left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth about Tyson Chandler this season. His total lack of life against the Pacers and Roy Hibbert helped cost the Knicks the series and have some people wondering/hoping that he gets traded away. The former defensive player of the year when healthy was very solid and had a good connection with Raymond Felton. They were very good in the Pick and Roll and Chandler had some dominant games rebounding. I know this may be hard to believe but on the same night Stephen Curry lit up the Knicks for 54 points, he had 28 rebounds. His limited offensive game does hurt the Knicks and he does have injury problems, especially when it comes to getting the flu. His back/neck injury along with the flu put him out of commission for the end of the year and they say hurt his performance in the playoffs. I think the Knicks wont be able to trade him until next year when he is an expiring contract.
Raymond Felton: After a lost year in a half in Denver and Portland, Raymond Felton returned to New York and did a good job helping people forget about Jeremy Lin. He got off to a great start and even rose to the occasion on a Thursday Night in Miami in early December to torch the Heat with Melo out with an injury. A broken pinky slowed his season down and he never captured the all around game he showed at the beginning of the season. A solid point guard that did a good job running the team, he was brilliant in the Celtics series including a valiant effort in the Game Four comeback before they lost. He will be back next season (Sorry Chris Paul hold outs, I doubt he is going to be a Knick next year although it would be great) and will be running the point. The Knicks caught a lot of flak for bringing in Felton and letting Lin go, but that is now long gone.
Pablo Prigioni: A solid bench player for most of the season, it was not until Mike Woodson put Pablo Prigioni in the starting lineup that the team took off at the end of the year. He shot the ball better from three than most expected, helped move the ball and had some great moments in the post-season. His play in Game Three and Game Six against Boston early was huge and his play late in Game Two against Indiana helped turn that game around. He needed to be more aggressive with his shot at times but that may have been the only negative he showed all year. The thing that sucks that can’t be fixed is the fact he is 35 years old. He is a restricted free agent and has been quoted as saying he wants to return. I don’t think a team will outbid the Knicks for his services and will be either a nice piece in the two point guard system or as a back up to Felton.
Iman Shumpert: The breakout star of the playoffs, Iman Shumpert proved this season he is back from his ACL injury and can be a potential star in this league. As the season went along from the time he returned in mid-January till the Game Six against Indiana he got better and better. His defense on the perimeter is near the top in the NBA and he showed during the playoffs he can be relied upon to make big shots, especially from deep. I have a lot of high hopes for him to be a key part of this franchise for a long time. I know the temptation is to take this good play in the playoffs and use it to the Knicks advantage in a trade. I just don’t think they should do that. It has been way too long since the Knicks drafted someone and turned them into anything more than a guy to trade away. He has the athleticism, talent and overall attitude that is going to be very welcome in New York. I became a big fan of his this season and I hope to see him in orange and blue for years to come.