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Should Amare come off the bench when he returns?

April 16, 2012

Mike Woodson has a choice to make. Either put Stoudemire back in the starting lineup when he comes off his injury or have him be a role player off the bench. I know it’s not an easy choice to make but some coaches would love to have that dilemma!

When Amare went down with the bad back, Melo stepped right in to the 4 spot and played well. Very well actually. His productivity shot up quite a bit. Scored more points and shot the ball much better than he was. His 4-19 shooting nights pretty much disappeared and he has played like the superstar we all expected from him since the day he got here. Now though he’s been doing it with some consistency. Playing the power forward position, he’s been feasting on the slower defense and scoring at a much higher clip and shooting a better percentage. Surprisingly he’s also played his bigger counterpart well. Melo will still give up a few inches and pounds on certain players but he’s held his own otherwise.

With that said, back to Amare…

The last 4 games before Amare went out he played like the old Amare. He was averaging 20 points 9 rebounds and shooting 59 percent from the field. His defense wasnt what you want out of him but he did have a few nice plays in the Philly game blocking Brand from behind, running all the way down court to do so. Showed hustle and helped the knicks to a narrow win that night.

Floor spacing will be a factor also in Woodson’s decision. Both He and Melo like to operate on the same spots of the floor. If the play is broken down they like to isolate on the wing about 18 feet out and make a play off the dribble. Not a bad thing but at this point in time I rather have Carmelo do that. He also clashes with Chandler when Melo is doing is thing. Amare played well last year when in the center spot, but he was a year younger and didn’t have back issues yet. Also he was the only scoring option which gave him room to score. So with Chandler doing his thing at the 5 and Anthony playing very good at the 4 spot that only leaves Amare coming off the bench to play the 4 or 5 depending on who’s subbing in. If Stoudemire can come back and be the same player as he was when right before he got hurt then i say yes put back in the starting lineup and i expect Woodson to make it work.  If he’s a shell of himself then maybe off the bench would be the best thing for the team. I mean isn’t that what it comes down to, “the team”… Now a days that’s a laughable statement but if the players have bought in to what Woodson is selling then it shouldnt be a far-fetched conclusion.

Worst things have happened to the Knicks. Having to figure out where to put a Stoudemire in the game shouldnt be a huge concern. If he starts and plays awful then he will get yanked and play little minutes. If he plays decent to good then the Knicks may have a shot at a run at the finals. I didn’t say it was a great shot but a shot nonetheless!

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One Comment
  1. I agree with Coach Woodson’s decision to immediately insert Amare back into the starting lineup, especially because the playoffs are right around the corner; the need is immediate to get him back into the flow before the playoffs start (the game is about rythm and he in particular,considering injury history, needs to regain rythm and confidence in his body). I’d very much like to see them employ the style of offense that the Heat use (with Wade & Lebron) allowing for long stretches of time for Carmelo & Amare to be the main guy on the floor (while the other sits) and feature their individual talents. That allows for each to get time being “the guy” and the group on the floor having to worry about spacing that includes a 2nd #1 scorer on the floor.
    In the end GO KNICKS!

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