Photo: Getty Images/Al Bello
Last night’s offensive explosion against the Boston Celtics all but clinched a playoff spot for the New York Knicks.It also provided us with yet another instance of Carmelo Anthony playing exceptionally well while Amar’e Stoudemire sits out with a back injury.
Over the 12 games that Stoudemire has sat out, Carmelo is averaging 30.4 points per game.
More importantly, the Knicks’ offence is flowing beautifully, their new emphasis on defence under head coach Mike Woodson is still thriving, and the team is winning.
In a perfect world, Woodson wouldn’t mess with the formula and would simply bring Amar’e off the bench when he returns, which could be as soon as this weekend.
Regardless of how well things are going with Carmelo running the show with a smaller lineup, Stoudemire’s yearly salaries of $18 million or more between now and 2015 preclude Woodson from using him off the bench.
Amar’e will be back in the starting lineup once he’s ready to go, there’s no way around that. Knicks’ upper management would have a fit otherwise.
With Woodson as head coach the Knicks can’t function with both Carmelo and Amar’e.
So the smartest way to fix this mess would be to trade Amar’e.
Despite his huge contract, there should be plenty of suitors for Amar’e (Philadelphia 76ers?). Such a trade could also bring the Knicks back two things they desperately need: draft picks and size.
Unfortunately, Knicks’ brass cares little for continuity and logic.
There’s a MUCH greater chance the Knicks opt to stick with their two stars and let Woodson go at the end of the year or at some point next season when the whole thing implodes again.
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