Photo: Getty Images/Al Bello
Great news for the Knicks: Amar’e Stoudemire is OK with being the sixth man when he returns from injury, Ian Begley of ESPN New York reports.The reasons it’s great for NY:
- Carmelo has played way better at power forward than he has at small forward this year
- Carmelo and Amar’e couldn’t figure out how to play together last year
- The Knicks still need bench scoring
Here are some accompanying charts for those reasons.
1. Carmelo has a PER of 22.7 and scores 34.8 points per 48 minutes at power forward, which is elite-level. He has a PER of 10.1 and scores 9.9 points per 48 minutes at small forward, which is bad. He’d have to play small forward if Amar’e started:
2. Here is a comparison of each players stats when the other was on and off the court in 2011-12. As you can see, their numbers are lower across the board when they play together. There is simply not enough room on the court for both of them to operate successfully when they play together:
3. The Knicks offence has struggled when Carmelo is on the bench. With Melo on the court, the Knicks have an offensive efficiency of 117.6 (which would rank 1st in the league). When the second unit comes in, they have an offensive efficiency of 98.6 (which would rank 28th in the league). The Knicks need offence off the bench, and Amar’e would give them that.
New York has played great with Carmelo at power forward. If Amar’e really is willing to come off the bench, it’d give the Knicks a huge lift without forcing them to change the style of play that has led them to a hot 10-4.
It looks like they dodged a bullet.
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