With 41 games in the books, I thought I’d check in on the youngins and see how they’re doing.
Wilson Chandler’s stats are quite similar to last year’s with a few worthwhile exceptions. Before the start of the season I said Chandler would have to increase either his free throw attempts or three point shooting percentage to be a successful NBA player. Unfortunately Wilson has regressed in both areas (FTA/36 2.8 to 2.2, 3p% 32.8% to 27.2%). These stats are important for his development because Chandler settled for the three pointer too often and didn’t connect often enough from downtown. Instead Chandler has reduced the number of three pointers attempted (3PA/36 4.1 to 2.6) and consequently his TS% has risen to 52.5%, good enough to be his best season. Chandler has given up chucking threes to taking the action to the hoop. NBA hotspots shows Chandler taking a high percentage of his shots from the paint (234 of 536 FG attempts). Granted he isn’t drawing contact and getting to the charity stripe, but this is a shift in the right direction for the 22 year old.
Limited to being a three point specialist in his first season, Danilo Gallinari has shown his athleticism in his sophomore campaign. Gallo has improved his free throws (2.4 to 3.5 fta/36), rebounding (4.8 to 5.5 reb/36), blocked shots (0.3 to 1.0 blk/36), personal fouls (4.2 to 2.4 pf/36) and points scored (14.9 to 16.7 pts/36). Overall he’s improved in multiple areas, which is exactly what you’d want from an underaged #6 pick.
Neither player in the Knicks draft class of 2009 has made an impact. Toney Douglas is 9th in minutes on the team and Hill is 11th, which in D’Antoni’s rotation means neither is playing consistently. At the start of the season, it seemed as if Toney Douglas would be in the rotation and Jordan Hill would be on the outside looking in. There was even rumors of Hill being sent to the D-League to see some action. But recently Hill has crept into the end of the Knicks rotation, and Douglas has seen his minutes reduced. To the eye Douglas has been quick on the defensive end, but he’s lost the play making ability that he flashed in the preseason. Meanwhile Hill has shown his athleticism on both ends of the floor, but he’s settling for long jumpers too often for a F/C. Finally Marcus Landry has been limited strictly to garbage time (72 minutes played on the year).
Of the five, Danilo Gallinari is the only one that’s given the inkling of becoming a future All Star. Down the stretch it’s important to see if Gallo can take a bigger role in the offense and not defer to his teammates. Chandler has improved, but he still need to produce more to be an above average NBA starter. As the season progresses we should monitor Chandler’s efficiency. For Douglas, Hill, and Landry, it’d be good for them to get significant court time, but the Knicks pursuit of a playoff spot could hamper such an opportunity.