Amar’e Stoudemire will reportedly come back for Game 3 of the Knicks-Pacers series.
He could be an asset if the Knicks use him in a limited way. Specifically, he’d be fine if played ~10 minutes alongside another interior defender while Carmelo Anthony rested.
But two years of evidence have shown us that the Knicks are a far inferior team when they try to play Amar’e and Carmelo together.
It’s no one guy’s fault — coaching changes, roster tweaks, and multiple injuries have made it impossible for them to learn how to play together. But regardless of the causes, it has been an absolute disaster when they’re both on the court, and the playoffs are no time to try and reverse that trend.
The Knicks have a good thing going. They could certainly use limited amounts of Amar’e, but if they use him in extended minutes or alongside Carmelo, it’s dangerous.
Here are six brutal stats that tell you why:
1. In the last two years, the Knicks are 38-38 with Stoudemire and 52-20 without him.
2. The Knicks are 4-7 this year in games where Stoudemire plays more than 25 minutes. And those four wins were against the worst teams in the league: Detroit (2x), Cleveland, and Washington.
3. The Knicks outscore teams by 3.0 fewer points per 100 possession when Amar’e is on the court.
4. Amar’e’ usage rate is 25.7 — meaning he dominant the ball roughly as much as JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks don’t have that many shots to give him.
5. Carmelo can’t play with Amar’e. He shots worse, shots less, scores fewer points, and has a negative impact overall (-2.4 points per 36 minutes), compared to a positive impact (+6.4) when Amar’e doesn’t play:
NBA.com/Stats6. Amar’e can’t play with Carmelo. He goes from an elite offensive player to a merely good one:
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