Stoudemire and Lin are Out But the Knicks are Looking Fresh
With Amar’e Stoudemire sidelined with injury, and Jeremy Lin out until the post season with knee surgery, Carmelo Anthony has finally woken up and is back to the player we all know and missed. He is averaging more than 30 points per game in the absence of Stoudemire and is shooting the ball at over 50%.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, where was this at the beginning of the season and why now. Well, my first explanation for this theory is that Melo is a prolific scorer and is turning it on just as the playoffs begin. The other reason, and more realistic one, is that Melo is getting the ball on almost every possession, and is well, being Melo. Ironically, this was the fear at the beginning of the season and the concern with the Knicks. Anthony was considered to be a “ball stopper”. Meaning he would receive the ball early in the shot clock and the ball would remain in his hands until he fired up a shot or got fouled. Don’t get me wrong, I think the ball needs to be in Anthony’s hands for this New York Knicks team to produce and win games. More importantly, they need to be able to win playoff games. Even more, he is beginning to move the ball much more and his Pick and Role with Tyson Chandler down the middle is almost unstoppable.
Another reason for the success of the Knicks of late is the play of their bench, more specifically the play of Steve Novak and J.R. Smith. The other night when the Celtics visited the Garden, Novak and Smith tallied 50 of the Knicks points off of the bench and combined for 15 for 20 from deep. (8 of 10 and 7 of 10 respectively)
But what happens when Amar’e returns? Well, there is few possible scenario where coach Mike Woodson would even dream about not playing his All-star power forward. So where does he go? Well he will be back to the starting line up. But if he doesn’t want to mess with the chemistry the Knicks have created, then he better stick to low post play, rebounds and lock down defense. The minute Stoudemire tries to take over games, is when the Knicks will falter. Even if he has to come off the bench that wouldn’t be so bad, because then he could the first option with the second unit, much like Ray Allen has chosen to do in Boston. That wouldn’t be so bad, they could pull an Orlando Magic like 1-4 offense, with Stat in the middle surrounded by four shooters. Thats not bad for a second unit. However, that theory is sure to never pan out, because no team is paying a player 20 million to come off the bench.
The Knicks are on fire of late having won 7 of their last 10 without Lin and Stoudemire. Hopefully this can keep up and they can give us a good first round match up with Miami. #MayMadness