Of course, this is just my opinion, and I want try to say that I am "right" or anything. I also wont use stats a lot (if at all) because this series seemed to me a lot about the "eye test" and how players looked out there.
I will start with the Coach, and then the players in alphabetical order.
Coach Mike D'Antoni: I think he got the players ready, and got them to play hard, particularly in the potential blowout game 2, which ended up being the closest of all. I generally liked his timeout calls and from what I heard in the "Wired" sections, I liked what he had to say: try to push the ball, and play better defense in general. The only thing I didnt like was the fact that he figured out his best players in this series way too late. The lineup at the end of game 4 finally got most of the players right, and while I guess it is good that he figured it out at all, I thought he could have made a better switch in minutes especially after game 3.
Grade of B
Carmelo Anthony: While he had a putrid game 1, and a subpar game 3, his playing in both games 2 and 4 is what kept us in the game. While his defense was often suspect, especially guarding against Pierce, there were times when he did play defense, and I thought that he did a good job of passing out of the double team. In fact, I thought that there were times that he should have been more aggressive when it was just against Pierce or Green, since he had been beating them all series. His rebounding was great, and along with the assists, it showed that he could contribute well without scoring. Except in stretches of game 3, I also thought he did bring a lot of effort.
Grade of A-
Chauncey Billups: I was highly disappointed in Chauncey. While we have no idea about the severity of his injury, I would have liked to have seen him actually suit up, do some of the shooting drills, and if he felt good, he might have been able to play. He was brought in for playoff experience and to be a veteran, and he made no positive impact in the series. In the one game where he did play, he was utterly ineffective, and wasted several possesions on bad pull-up 3s when he was already cold.
Grade of F
Anthony Carter: I really cant say enough about this guy, but having played little all season, he was to me unquestionably the best Knick point guard. He actually defended Rondo, insead of backpeddling and then fouling on the shot, and ran the offense fairly well. He also shot decently, and in game 4, was the key to the Knicks comeback. Showed a lot of heart, a lot of effort, and definitely won me over as an avid basketball watcher to become a fan of his.
Grade of A++ (++++++++)
Toney Douglas: UGH! While this was his first playoff series, and I understand some of the misses, he shot absolutely terribly in all 4 games. He didnt seem to make the right play much either, passing instead of shooting, or vice versa. He could not get the offense going, and had almost no assists. However, his defense on Rondo literally killed the Knicks. As the announcers kept saying (and were right for once), you can give Rondo space, but you have to stop him at some point. Douglas just kept backpeddling, allowing Rondo to just pick apart the Knicks already not stellar defense, and in the fastbreak, gave him numerous and-1s. Did not look like his heart was in the game at all.
Grade of F-
Landry Fields: What the hell happened Landry? Even in your far worse 2nd half of the season, you played much better than you did in this series. Landry looked hesitant, especially from deep, often passing up open 3s for contested runners in the lane, which you dont do unless you are Rondo or Tony Parker. His defense on Allen was putrid, as he let him slip away time and again, and he hardly ever even ran out to contest the shots. His specialty of rebounding he didnt even do that well, and his shooting was terrible. I think he showed some effort, but looked lost, scared, and just way over his head.
Grade of D
Jared Jeffries: Oh Jared Jeffries. One of the least offensively skilled players in the league. He made the game losing play in game 2, but at the same time, his rebounding and even scoring kept the Knicks in it. I really didnt see much of his defense except on run-outs where he gave his all, because even though he did play well defensively otherwise, he was in the Toney Douglas school for defending Rondo (which means absolutely terrible). Unlike others, I wasnt expecting him to do anything offensively, so the scoring was kind of nice. Showed heart, but ultimately the Knicks needed real scoring, and he couldnt provide.
Grade of B-
Roger Mason Jr: I gotta give some Kudos to this guy. Like Carter, he wasnt played much in the season, and like Carter, he was ready for the playoffs. He seemed to make more 3s than anyone else, and actually ran around trying to follow Allen. Not only that, he actually did the switches correctly, and played defense even when he was outmatched. In other words, the performance of a professional basketball player, which is what all of these guys are.
Grade of A
Amar'e Stoudemire: He had a great game 1, and then played through injuries in the other 3 games. While I congratulate his heart (cough Billups cough) , his playing in games 2 and 3 was terrible as he just kept missing on shots, and couldnt run the floor on all of the Celtics fastbreaks. In game 4, while he shot badly, he did score 20 points, and his rebounding was good. I thought his defense wasnt awful, and he definitely tried out there. I think he could work to pass out of the paint more though, since many of his shots were contested by 3 or 4 Celtics at the rim.
Grade of B-
Ronny Turiaf: He played well in games 1 and 2, and then did a disappearing act. He seemed to defend the pick and roll well early by actually showing hard on the screens, and he definitely gave the Knicks some energy in the first 2. However, he had a lot of bad fouls, passed on some easy layups, and just generally didnt play well in the last 2 games. Like some of the others though, he did show effort out there.
Grade of C+
Bill Walker: I really had trouble thinking about "Billy", as the announcers kept calling him. He brought energy, attacked the hoopt, and showed heart, yet he played awful. He kept shoving off with his left arm while going up, had about 6 offensive foul calls, and seemingly missed every jumper that he took. However, it was defensively that he was a killer, since he seemingly couldnt stick with Allen or Pierce, and didnt run out on their shots at all. In other words, he showed energy at only one end of the floor, and that is inexcusable. I guess it is better than some of the others though.
Grade of C-
Shawne Williams: Another tough one. He played streaky defense, running out hard on one play and then giving up on the next. He also missed almost all the 3s he took, and when he tried to penetrate the paint, he was mainly stuffed. However, he was the only guy who really showed heart in game 3, and he was part of the comeback lineup in game 4. While he wasnt great, I think he should have been played more, since he ended up being better than the alternatives.
Grade of B
Who was your MVP of the series?
Carmelo Anthony (29 votes)
Anthony Carter (10 votes)
Stoudemire (0 votes)
Roger Mason (0 votes)
Turiaf (0 votes)
Jeffries (3 votes)
Other (2 votes)
44 total votes