Amar’e Stoudemire is widely considered the best pick and roll man in the NBA. He is 6’11 and wildly explosive. When he drives to the paint he is damn near unstoppable. Last season, Stoudemire shot 63% at the rim and 45% taking 3-9 foot shots. Conversely he shot 44% from 16-23 feet. Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh, Nene Hilario and Kevin Garnett all shot a higher percentage on shots taken from 16-23 feet. Stoudemire is a good mid range shooter but he made his money devastating defenses in the paint and at the rim and he needs to get back to that style of offense.
In last nights game, Stoudemire was 3-5 on shots at the rim, 3-9 feet and 10-15 feet. He was 2-9 on shots 16-23 feet. I understand that part of this is having no point guard and seemingly no pick and roll game in sight right now. That is not Stoudemire’s fault. What is Stoudemire’s fault is his seemingly willingness to just shoot long jumpers. David Lee is a great guy. I love him and Knick fans loved him. He is a good player but he cannot stay with Stoudemire, as shown by Stoudemire’s poster dunk on him last night. Once he realized his jumper was cold, and it was ice cold, Stoudemire should have reverted to his drive and post game. Instead, Stoudemire began firing 18 footer after 18 footer and could not deliver the offensive efficiency that the Knicks needed last night. Against the 6’9 Lee, Stoudemire should have attacked the post and the paint and dominated inside. That is what he is known for and that is what he needs to get back to. This 2-9 from mid-range cannot happen when you are one of the two consistent scoring threats on this team. The Knicks need 20-25 points a game from Stoudemire and he needs to use the most successful aspects of his game to get there.
A lot was made about Stoudemire hitting a 2 three pointers game 1 versus Boston but I do not see that necessarily as a positive. This is why I say that. You’re paying a guy a 5 year max deal to be your dominant, unstoppable inside force. Do you want him shooting 3’s? Yea it is great when he makes them but what happens if he reverts to a 35% shooter from 3. Do you want your dominant power forward working on his 3 point perimeter shooting when his focus should be getting into the paint and postering people? His 3 point shooting is a nice fasset of his game but that, along with his mid range jumper, should not be the emphasis of his offensive game. Stoudemire needs to get back to dominating on the drive and in the paint.Follow @tarmosino