Perception is a funny thing. It can play tricks on you. Make you see what’s not there based on earlier experiences. When Amar’e Stoudemire came back from yet another injury the expected result for the New York Knicks would be: better shooting, less rebounding, poor defense.
That’s not exactly what happened.
In the games before Stoudemire’s return, the Knicks scored 1.123 PPP (Points Per Play). Since January 1st, New York has 1.106 PPP. (with Stoudemire playing and Carmelo Anthony on the bench that number drops to 1.004 and without Melo and Tyson Chandler, but Stoudemire in it plummets to .982).
Even with Amar’e’s nice shooting, New York’s eFG went from 51.7% to 51.4%. Not a huge drop, but it shows that the Knicks are shooting poorly with Stoudemire on the team.
You think eFG% is not enough? TS went from 55.1% to 54.9%/. We can’t see a huge letdown, but it gives us a blueprint of why the Knicks are scoring less.
In the beginning of the season, the Knicks were beating teams by taking care of the ball. With 11.8 turnovers per game, it was hard to score from the team’s mistake. New York turns the ball over 13.4 times a game. Partly because Stoudemire loves to leave the ball hanging in front of him, ripe for a PG quick hands.
In a 100 possessions 10.7 of the Knicks’ 3 pointers were assisted. Now 9.7 are. Of course JR Smith’s and Steve Novak’s slumps are partially to blame, but the Knicks are not moving the ball as well since STAT came back.
Before January 1st New York stole 9.5 balls in 100 possessions. In 2013 that number dropped to 8.
Here’s what made my eyes jump out of its sockets: everybody know Stoudemire can’t box out to save his life. Often beaten to position by lesser players I assumed the Knicks would have less rebounds with him.
In 100 possessions Knicks used to grab 43.7 rebounds. Now they are grabbing 48.1. That caught me by surprise. As the video above shows (and you can see by following him on defense during games he is constantly lost and letting opponents get between himself and the rim).
Not surprising is the fact that opponents are shooting better from inside the arch. 2PT% in 100 possessions went from 48.6% to a whopping 51.7% (eFG went from 50.6% to 50.9%). One of the biggest reason Knicks are having trouble.
Some off New York’s fans look at his improved offense (Amar’e IS having the best shooting season of his career so far with 67.5 eFG%) and want him to start or be featured more on the team.
Am I saying Stoudemire is ruining the Knicks? No. Stats show that, since he came back, New York is struggling to get back into gear. The Stoudemire-Melo duo is working better than it used to. First, get the defense back to where it was before January 1st then, and only then, you can talk about Stoudemire gaining more minutes.