Browsing Posts tagged Amare Stoudemire

Even though the Knicks got their first playoff win in over a decade and their NBA odds were not bad, the 2012 postseason for Knicks fans was almost as bitter as previous years. Last season, the Boston Celtics swept the Knicks in the first round, and this season, they lost in five games to the Miami Heat.

With a lot of cap space tied up, and a large mountain to climb; the Knicks are desperately in need of a full training camp and preseason to get their chemistry right. A lot of things happened this season to the Knicks, let’s take a look back, see if their regular season had anything to do with their early postseason exit.

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As the seconds ticked away on Wednesday night, the Knicks faced the realization of another first round exit and another off-season filled with many questions. With over $50 million committed to the Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks won’t be able to do much fishing in the free agent pool. However, the Knicks most prized free agent acquisition, Jeremy Lin, remains the most important piece for next year’s team.

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Facing a daunting 3-0 task, the Knicks responded in Game 4 by beating the Heat, 89-87. Melo went off for 41-6-4 to lead the way, but his late game actions will leave a lot of Knick fans wondering. Up three points with 15 seconds to go, Shane Battier fouled Melo as he attempted a three pointer. Melo proceeded to miss the first two free throw attempts before making the third to give the Knicks a four point lead. I didn’t like his demeanor after missing the first two shots. Melo was seen laughing, joking around, shaking his head. That type of attitude will not win anywhere let alone in New York. LeBron gave Heat fans some hope, converting a three-point play seconds later to cut the Knick lead to one. Now, it was Mr. Fire Extinguisher’s time to shoot two. Amar’e made one out of two, giving the Heat ANOTHER chance to at least tie (or win) the game. Luckily for the Knicks, Wade’s three-pointer was off the mark so this series is heading back to Miami.

Look, we all know the Knicks aren’t going to beat the Heat. We all knew this before the series even started. The lack of late game execution at the free throw line opened the door for the Heat. The Knicks are only delaying the inevitable with this series and Miami will close them out in Game 5.

Forget about the game of basketball for a second. The New York Knicks are fit to join the circus. Following their 104-94 Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat, the Knicks had a lengthy closed door meeting. During the meeting, Amare Stoudemire put his fist through a glass door. While we don’t know what exactly happened during the meeting, we do know that the Knicks are in complete and utter disarray. Coming into the playoffs, the Knicks knew they needed to play perfect basketball to beat the Heat. So far, the Heat have had their way with the Knicks, averaging nearly 100 points per game while shooting 53% from the field. 

In light of their Game 3 match-up in The Garden, Miami knows the New York media will be all over them. The Heat answered the bell earlier this season, beating the Knicks in The World’s Most Famous Arena. Without a playoff win in 12 years, the Knicks will face even more pressure to pick up one win. Given the current state of the team, a win against Miami seems almost unfathomable. Amar’e, bad hand and all, looks old and slow. The Knicks can’t win with or without Carmelo scoring. The point guard play has been absolutely putrid. Now playing without Iman Shumpert, the Knicks lack a lock down defender.

Bottom line, the Knicks need leadership and need it fast. Unfortunately, no one wants to step up and take control. Another first round and an off-season full of questions seems more likely than not for these New York Knicks. 

Mike Woodson righted the sinking ship known as the New York Knicks. Since taking over interim head coaching duties, Woodson’s Knicks are 16-6 and are playoff bound for the second straight season. However, one major obstacle stands in his way of being promoted from interim to full-time–making Carmelo and Amar’e effectively play together.

Mike D’Antoni’s ‘offensive guru’ coaching habits were ineffective as Anthony and Stoudemire failed to buy into his style of play. However, without D’Antoni, the Knicks have been buying into Woodson’s ideals on both ends. Carmelo has been on fire offensively while Woodson’s decision to run a ‘point guard by committee’ has been effective. However, the one missing factor during Woodson’s success has been Amar’e. Since Stat returned to play, the Knicks are 2-1. Stat scored 22 points and grabbed 12 boards in the team’s win over Atlanta on Sunday. 

It’s been well documented that Amar’e and Carmelo have trouble playing together offensively. Amar’e thrives in pick-and-roll situations while Carmelo is an isolation scorer who loves his space. With two contrasting styles of play, Woodson has to make this work. Ultimately, Woodson may need to swallow his pride and stick Stoudemire on the bench to start the game. Having each scorer work independently may get the other going. In crunch time situations, these two will likely be paired together, but there’s no harm in bringing them along separately to start the game. 

Alike any playoff situation, egos have to be checked. The Knicks and more importantly, New York City are starved for more playoff wins. The Giants and now Rangers have given the city some exciting playoff moments this year. It’s time for the Knicks to step into that spotlight and win playoff games. That success starts with the head coach and his attempt to make the Anthony-Stoudemire situation work, whether or not they are on the court together. 

Criticism always runs rampant in New York. Star players are blamed when their respective team loses. Coaches are fired. And most importantly, the fans want answers. However, one New York superstar athlete always seems to deflect criticism and he wears #7 for the New York Knicks.

Since arriving in New York, Carmelo Anthony has dodged criticism time after time. Sure, Knick fans got on Melo for about a week this season when Linsanity came to an abrupt end upon his return. But since his injury, Knick fans have basically written Jeremy Lin off and pinned their title aspirations to the ball chucking Anthony. Knick fans like hefty scoring totals, which Anthony provides on a nightly basis. But the astute fan knows that strong individual performance don’t translate in the post-season. Add in the fact that Anthony has never made the NBA Finals in his eight year career. Anthony’s playoff numbers are in-line with his regular season averages (24.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG), but Anthony’s unwillingness to play team basketball ultimately plagues his title hopes.

Take Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat. Anthony scored 42 points, but the Knicks fell to the Heat by eight points. Granted, the Knicks were outgunned by the explosive Miami Heat, but Carmelo vs. the World will just lead to another first round exit. Amar’e is expected to rejoin the team this weekend, but even with Amar’e in the fold, the Knicks have showed they don’t play team basketball well with both players on the court. Amar’e’s pick and roll partner is rehabbing a knee injury while Anthony needs space to get going offensively. Melo and Amar’e just don’t complement each well offensively… and we can all forget about the word defense.

As we all get ready for the NBA Playoffs, we all aren’t expecting much from the Knicks. They’ll take on either the Heat or Bulls in the first round and Melo’s unwillingness to play team basketball will result in another first round exit. Instead of simply just congratulating the Knicks on making the playoffs, it’s time someone got on Anthony and made him responsible for his team’s lackluster, inconsistent play.

When Melo unlocks his inner Paul Pierce and starts committing himself to team basketball and defense, we can start talking deep playoff runs. Until then, expect the Knick season to once again end in April.

It’s one thing to lose Amar’e Stoudemire. It’s another to lose Jeremy Lin.

On Friday, the Knicks learned that Jeremy Lin will be out for six weeks with a torn meniscus. Effectively, Lin will miss the rest of the Knick season, regardless of a playoff run. Plus, no one really expected the Knicks to go far into the playoffs. Since coming on to the scene in February, the Knicks have been running Lin rampant. During February, Lin averaged 35.1 minutes per game which was one of the highest averages in the league. The Knicks eased up on him during March, averaging just 31 minutes per game. Still, the Knicks ran a career back-up point guard into the ground. Lin was this team’s X-Factor–and their lack of quality depth behind will cost them dearly.

The Knicks will use Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert at the point for the rest of the season. Mike Bibby will come off the bench and the team may even dust off Toney Douglas. Still, we can’t reasonably expect the Knicks to make a playoff run with B-Diddy running the point. Plus, with Ama’re out indefinitely, the Knicks have no shot at winning a title this season. If the Knicks make the playoffs, expect them to be a Round One casualty to either Miami or Chicago. 

Mike Goodson’s ‘No Nonsense’ attitude has transformed the Knicks. Under Goodson, the Knicks are 4-0 and have allowed 89 points per game. The Knick defense has been swarming to the ball and Carmelo Anthony looks like a completely different player. Take Melo’s performance last night against the Raptors. Anthony shot just 5 for 15 from the field, but he was able to get to the line and put pressure on the Raptor defense. Melo rounded out his line, adding eight boards, five assists, and three steals. 

In addition to Anthony, Amare Stoudemire has looked like the Amare of old. Last night, he scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jeremy Lin may not be scoring in bunches, but his 18 points and 10 assists will help every single night.

It’s clear that the Knicks have rallied behind Goodson and bought into his ball-swarming defensive mentality that Mike D’Antoni never bought into. The Knicks have a big test tonight in Philly against the Sixers. Remember, the Knicks were booed out of the Garden two weeks ago when the Sixers came to town. Let’s see how they tackle their first true road test under their interim head coach.

Mike Goodson is undefeated as the head coach of the New York Knicks. Soon after Mike D’Antoni resigned, Goodson made it clear that things would change immediately for this Knick team. And they did. The Knicks ended their six game losing streak with a convincing 121-79 victory over the reeling Portland Trail Blazers. The Knicks set the tone early, battling for rebounds, scrapping for loose balls, and hustling back on defense.

Carmelo came out hot, scoring ten first quarter points. Amare had a very solid game scoring 17 points and grabbing eight boards. Lin wasn’t great, scoring only eight points and dishing six assists (he had six turnovers). But all in all, the Knicks played with emotion and came away with an easy win. The 19-24 Knicks are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee Bucks have the same record, but have the heads-up tie breaker. The Knicks will take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

With the trade deadline just eight days away, the Knicks and Nets must address their weaknesses and determine what fixes can be made right now. For the Knicks, they’ve uncovered Lin-Sanity and signed J.R. Smith this season. For the Nets, the re-signed Kris Humphries, but really haven’t done much else. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, here are the key weaknesses (and appropriately solutions) for each club.

AP Photo

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