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Knicks Need Offensive Backup for Anthony

The New York Knicks’ stranglehold on the NBA’s Atlantic division is losing its grip. New York is 5-5 over its last 10 games and is now just 3 ½ games in front of second Brooklyn and only 5 in front of the surging Boston Celtics.
On Monday night, the Knicks got a big scare when high scorer Carmelo Anthony left the game with a knee injury. Anthony missed the Knicks game against Detroit on Wednesday night and is a game time decision for their game Thursday night at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
If New York hopes to win the Atlantic division, they need to have offensive firepower to help Anthony, especially if his knees continue to bother him down the stretch. The big question is where can they find the firepower to help Anthony and the rest of the team.
One answer is veteran forward Amar’e Stoudemire. The veteran is doing well coming in off the bench and his play suggests he might by a more dangerous asset to the Knicks as a sixth man then a starter.
Since returning from an injury, Stoudemire has been more than happy coming in off the bench, not complaining about being restricted to only 30 minutes per game to help keep his surgically repaired knee from hurting.
However, sources say the forward is once again healthy enough and ready to play additional minutes for the team. This could not have come at a better time, as Anthony’s knees are bothering him more often than not and Stoudemire makes the Knicks a better team when he is on the court.
Over his past 10 games, Stoudemire appeared for over 25 minutes only 3 times and less than 22 minutes in 6 games. During that stretch, the Knicks are just 5-5. That in itself is a good indication that Coach Mike Woodson needs to have Stoudemire in the lineup more often, without overdoing it and jeopardizing his knee.
Even though the Knicks defeated the Golden State Warriors last week, Stoudemire played less than 20 minutes even though he hit 6 of his 7 shots and scored 14 points on the night. He was also noticeably absent down the stretch in that game.
The Knicks also blew a 16-point lead against Miami and lost, and once again down the stretch Stoudemire was sitting on the bench. It was not because he was close to going over his 30-minute allotment since he played just 21 minutes hitting 5 of his 7 shots.
Woodson has to use the six time All Star and second best scorer on the team more often.
Stoudemire is currently averaging just fewer than 14 points per game and only playing an average of 23 minutes per game. He is the only NBA player averaging a minimum of 13 points, while playing less than 25 minutes a game.
Amar’e is shooting at a 55% clip from the field and averaging at least 13 points per game and only five other players including Al Horford, Dwight Howard and LeBron James are doing the same. Stoudemire is also the only NBA player to average less than nine shots a game and still score at least 13 points per game.
With less than 30 games remaining in the regular season, the Knicks need to find a way to help Anthony out offensively. Their answer is sitting on their bench – Amar’e Stoudemire.

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