Let us, for a moment, imagine that we live in a world without ego. Where a player will do what’s best for the team, not what he feels he must. Where a coach won’t be afraid of a player’s salary and bench him for the good of the team.
Are you in that utopian world yet? Now, open your mind and let this sink in: Amar’e Stoudemire’s latest injury might help the New York Knicks in the long haul.
Breathe. Reread that sentence. Ready? Let’s move forward.
With that injury, the Knicks might have a temporary starting five of Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Carmelo Anthony, Kurt Thomas and Tyson Chandler.
And, with Kurt, New York’s already great defense and poor rebounding have every chance of improving.
Kurt’s PPP (Points Per Play) are usually much better than Stoudemire’s. On post ups, Kurt gave up .6 PPP, good for 11th in the NBA, Stoudemire gave up .78, 96th.
On spot ups, Kurt’s man had .73 PPP, 25th, Amar’e’s had .96, 217th.
Overall, Kurt gave up .72 PPP, Stoudemire gave up .83 PPP. 29th and a 166th respectively.
If Stoudemire accepted that reality, he could come off the bench. Joining J.R. Smith in that 2nd unit, he could wreak havoc on adversary defenses.
Of course, that would mean giving up on the Melo-Amar’e experience. But, judging by the way it went, it would be better to limit the minutes they are together on the court. That would open up the paint and elbow for both of them.