Player Report Cards: New York Knicks 109, Brooklyn Nets 98


Apr 15, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Shannon Brown (26) at the net during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

If nothing else, the New York Knicks can still hang their hats on winning their season series with the Brooklyn Nets this season. In a season rife with disappointment, the lack of a true Knicks-Nets, New York rivalry is among the top letdowns. It seemed at the beginning of the season as though both of these teams would battle for New York and Atlantic Division supremacy; instead, the Nets rebounded to become a solid playoff team while the Knicks floundered outside of the playoffs all year.

Nonetheless, the Knicks — sans Carmelo Anthony — facing a lackadaisical Nets team, took care of business. They denied the Nets the chance to win a game and they had fun doing it. There were dunks, heat-checks, very few defenses, lots of bench celebrations, and lots of bench minutes. Basically, it was an 81st game of the season.

The individual grades:

Iman Shumpert – 31 minutes, 11 points, 4-9 FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, +9

This is sort of a stat line I’d like to see Iman Shumpert produce every night. He didn’t hit either of his two three-point attempts, but he did go 3-4 from the stripe, which is a nice addition. His stretch of baskets came mostly in the third quarter when he pulled up for two jumpers at the top of the key and then destroyed Paul Pierce:

And then his fourth basket was this ridiculous dunk, because of course it was (thanks to @HPbasketball for the .gifs)

Final Grade: A

Amar’e Stoudemire – 21 minutes, 14 points, 3-4 FG, 8-9 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 block, +14

Stoudemire spent a lot of his time playing no defense and then trying to do all of the offense. Once he got his touches on the low block or wing, he wasn’t giving it up. If he wasn’t posting or facing up, he was attacking in the pick-and-roll, diving to the rim for finishes or drawing fouls. He also put down a vintage STAT put-back dunk (thanks again to @HPbasketball):

Final Grade: B+

Tyson Chandler – 5 minutes, 2 points, 1-1 FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, +6

Tyson Chandler started the game and then was like, “Nah F that, Woody.”

Final Grade: inc.

J.R. Smith – 23 minutes, 14 points, 3-8 FG, 3-7 3FG, 5-6 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs, +17

It’s almost hard to believe Smith only played 23 minutes, because a. it felt like he played the whole game, and b. this game’s nonchalance was perfect for him. Still, when Smith was out there, he spent it scrambling around, collecting boards, hoisting deep treys, and continuing his nice passing to teammates.

Final Grade: B+

Raymond Felton – 21 minutes, 8 points, 3-8 FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 TOs, +9

Felton scurried around a bit in the pick-and-roll, but didn’t really produce much. He created himself some shots but missed them, and often badly missed shooters on kick-outs. Oddly, I don’t recall him operating much PnR with Stoudemire, but without Chandler as a roll man or Anthony to keep defenses honest, a Felton-led offense doesn’t seem too promising.

Final Grade: C

Tim Hardaway Jr. – 36 minutes, 16 points, 5-10 FG, 4-5 3FG

It occurred to me tonight as Hardaway Jr. knocked down a pull-up three and later a midrange jumper off the dribble that he would benefit from working on his offensive game with ‘Melo. He’d also benefit from doing anything in addition to shooting as he posted zeros across the board elsewhere.

Final Grade: B-

Apr 15, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Marquis Teague (12) drives up against New York Knicks center Cole Aldrich (45) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. New York Knicks won 109-98. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Aldrich – 26 minutes, 13 points, 4-6 FG, 13 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

Aldrich has used this final month to play himself into a contract opportunity this summer, hopefully with the Knicks. He doesn’t deserve big minutes, but he’s proven himself worthy of backup minutes. The Knicks are always good at finding value from the bargain bin.

Final Grade: A-

Pablo Prigioni – 5 minutes, 0-1 FG, 2 TOs

As Pablo forced a leaner off the glass that missed badly (after committing a pretty horrible pass), Woodson yanked him and Pablo was like, “We good for the night.”

Final Grade: inc.

Jeremy Tyler – 20 minutes, 8 points, 3-5 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 TOs, -2

In contrast to Aldrich, Tyler once looked like a certain future piece of the team, but over the last month or more, he’s played himself out of the rotation. After showing a lot of promise early on, lately he’s looked sloppy around the basket with some ball-stopping tendencies. He’ll get a look this summer — and he certainly has promise — but the Knicks might not pursue him as hard as they might once have.

Final Grade: C+

Shannon Brown – 30 minutes, 14 points, 4-7 FG, 6-6 FT, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal

30 minutes was a lot of Shannon Brown for one night, but he did all the things you’d hope to see. He played some generally OK defense, he used his supreme athleticism to force a turnover, and then glide to the hoop for some athletic finishes and a big dunk. Cool.

Final Grade: B+

Toure’ Murry – 22 minutes, 9 points, 2-8 FG, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 3 steals, -2

Toure’s definitely got some skills, but it’ll take him awhile to hone them all. His shot selection can be ghastly, but he’s a decent passer; he’s got the vision for the pick-and-roll, although not the wherewithal to know when to not force a pocket pass to a rolling big man; and he can hassle opposing guards. Hope the Knicks keep him around for some Summer League at least.

Final Grade: B-