A Blessing in Disguise?

It didn’t seem possible that things could get worse for the Knicks after their game 2 loss to the Miami Heat. Then Amare Stoudemire went all Metta World Peace on the glass casing of a fire extinguisher. STAT is reportedly “almost certain” to be out for game 3 at Madison Square Garden. Amazingly, things have gotten worse for the Knicks.

Or have they?

On paper, the Knicks missing their $100 million power forward is bad. On paper, inserting Jarred Jeffries into the starting lineup or sliding Carmelo Anthony up to play the 4 is not ideal. On paper, Amare Stoudemire’s injury would signal the end for the New York Knicks’ already slim to none odds of winning the series.

In reality though, Amare Stoudemire’s injury could be just the freak incident to jump-start the Knicks.

Amare hasn’t meshed with Carmelo since day 1 of Anthony’s overhyped arrival to his hometown. Prior to Carmelo Anthony joining the Knicks, Stoudemire was surprisingly playing up to the absurdly rich contract that the Knicks desperately signed him to in the 2010 off-season. It has become clear that Stoudemire fits as well with the current version of the Knicks as Lindsay Lohan did at this weekend’s White House Correspondence dinner. Amare was better off without Carmelo.

It could be the case that the Knicks are better off without Amare.

The Knicks don’t have the personnel to beat the Heat but with Amare Stoudemire out the team might be able to put up a better fight. The front court lineup featuring Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony doesn’t space the floor well enough for either Amare or Carmelo to go to work the way they would like to. When you add to the mix an average shooter in Landry Fields and a below average 3 point shooter throughout his career in Baron Davis, what you get is not a group built for success.

The Knicks, however, were very successful at times during the absence of Amare Stoudemire, especially so when Carmelo would do his best Lebron James impersonation and beast it at power forward. Going small should not hurt the Knicks against the Heat’s unassuming group of big men, while the constant shooting presence of a J.R. Smith or Steve Novak may help turn the series around.

Statistics do not tell all but the stats without STAT on the floor this season should ease the minds of Knicks fans looking ahead to game 3 (not too much though). Sadly, New York has been better on both sides of the ball this season without Amare. Per NBA.com, they have scored 104.6 points per 100 possessions and allowed 96.2 points per 100 possessions in his absence. This is opposed to only their 98.1 point per 100 possessions scoring clip and 100.8 points per 100 possessions allowed defensively with Amare Stoudemire on the court.

The outrageous story featuring the stupidity of Amare Stoudemire is probably a bigger deal than his actual injury. After 2 games it appeared unlikely that the Knicks were going to end their pathetic 12 game playoff losing streak even with Stoudemire in the lineup. They played better in game 2 but it wasn’t close to enough. With Carmelo, Amare is a difference maker, but not the difference maker that he is paid to be.

For the New York Knickerbockers to truly contend for a title one day, Amare Stoudemire has to have a starring role. He can’t be what Chris Bosh is far too often for the Miami Heat. Whoever the future coach in New York is will have to find a way to make the situation work.

But maybe, just maybe, the Knicks are better off in the short-term without Amare Stoudemire.

You can follow me on Twitter @paintstheblack and subscribe to Painting the Black to get the latest posts.

Agree? Disagree? You can also E-mail Chris at cross_can15@hotmail.com or reply in the comments section below.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

18 Responses to A Blessing in Disguise?

  1. Well put, Chris. I agree. Basically what I said in my blog as well, hah. Great job finding the stats and polishing this post. The Melo-Stoudemire combo has just never been a good fit. A lot of talent on that team but it just seems like they’re playing open gym style out there. Gotta love that pic too…nice work.

  2. Things got worse the moment idiots started to subscribe for some reason that the Knicks were capable of playing defense . Is there anyone on the roster who comprehends the meaning of the word , much less be able to spell it ……… the word ” defense ” that is ? Granted , Lin </a. does have a an Ivy League education having attended Harvard . But that’s not saying a lot when you consider how weak his game is and the very fact he turns the ball over with the consistency that Lindsay Lohan’s a_s happens to be in front of a judge , with regard to her legal issues . Stoudemire does the Knicks proud with his stupidity and it simply reflects what this organization has been about for the last decade ! Futility just happens to be a part of their DNA ! tophatal ……

  3. Although you might be on to something, in all fairness Melo & Stat DID mesh well together, however that was when they both had a facilitator on the floor. When Jeremy Lin, Melo, and Amare were all on the floor together, the Knicks were 6-1. Just saying.

  4. aroy15 says:

    Lets face it though, the Knicks can’t win unless they have someone to distribute the ball and Lin has turned out to be a fabrication of the NY media. Carmelo has never been a team player and he never will be. The Heat like to run and Carmelo is going to play right into that by shooting alot. When you shoot alot from the outside, you miss alot. The Heat will have a field day without Amare. Fast break all day.

  5. Sampson says:

    I agree completely. Amare and Melo’s style of play can barely coexist on the court. The Wade-Lebron combo works so well because Lebron is a pass-first player when Wade is on the court and their chemistry has become very strong. You see this some with the Thunder too, but the Thunder play a lot better defense and have more overall talent than the Knicks. In my eyes, the season is over for the Knicks. Their front office needs to address the Amare situation.

  6. Nice article. Agreed on the spacing and the possibility that they are better off without STAT. Rumors are saying the Knicks might be able to void part of the contract because it is a non basketball related injury. This could get a whole lot more interesting!

    http://cinesportstalk.wordpress.com

  7. supertiffff says:

    First of all, thanks for linking me to your article — I definitely agree with many of your comments regarding the whole team chemistry led by Melo and Stat. I do think Stoudemire can still bring a strong presence to the court, but as a leader of the 2nd unit that the Knicks have. However, to bench one of the key players instead of having him as a starter would definitely upset Stoudemire…All in all, what the team needs right now is a player to help facilitate the ball movement in their offense. Baron Davis does an alright job, but since he can’t be playing too many minutes, there needs to be someone else to step up. That’s exactly how Lin did it, but I honestly don’t think he should be rushing his recovery process in the Knick’s desperation to win a game (best case: they win a game. worst case: Lin’s injury relapses and goes down like Shumpert).

    Let’s hope Woodson’s got something to reshape this team like it was before the playoffs started…!

  8. Without Amar’e, the Knicks are a better team. Moving Carmelo Anthony to the 4 is the best thing for that team. That way, they can play Landry Fields and J.R. Smith. Let’s just say that the games should be more competitive now.

  9. I wholehardetely agree with you, Chris. Carmelo Anthony (and the rest of the team) just brings the energy level up when Stoudemire is gone.

  10. Great article. The Knicks in my opinion are a better team with Amare. You need more than one option on offense. So far it hasn’t worked this year. Is that The player’s fault or the coach. Dantoni and Woodson both struggled with the task of fitting the two stars together. That doesn’t mean it can’t work. The Knicks need a true point guard, so one well respected. This point guard needs to be able to penetrate and dish. I hear Steve Nash is available.

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