- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Starting with the first day of training camp and extending through each weekday during the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Mike Woodson's confident that the Anthony-Stoudemire pairing can work this year. So are Anthony and Stoudemire.
But are you?
There's always reason to be optimistic at the beginning of a season, but if you aren't feeling too positive about the Anthony-Stoudemire duo, it's certainly understandable.
Some of the numbers from Stoudemire and Anthony last season were not pretty.
The Knicks won just 46 percent of their games when the two were in the starting lineup. Though it was a small sample size (six games), the Knicks won at a 66% clip when both stars were out of the lineup.
How is that possible? You'd think that with two of your top players healthy, you'd at least be above .500.
Some scouts, though, note that Stoudemire and Anthony struggle together because they both like to operate between the mid post and the elbow extended.
Woodson doesn't see that as a problem.
"I don't agree with that," the coach said. "I think both of those guys are basketball players, they both know how to play. And it's going to be up to everybody that's a part of our crew to figure it out, me being the leader of that. And we will figure it out as we go along."
Woodson also doesn't think that Stoudemire and Anthony have an issue on the floor together.
"I didn't ever think it was a problem. I really didn't. So, I mean, I don't look at it as a challenge (to get them to improve as a tandem). I just look at it as a team that's trying to get better," Woodson said.
Another issue that arose last season which added fuel to the "Anthony and Stoudemire can't win together" fire was Anthony's improved play with Stoudemire out. Of course, it's only natural for Anthony to score more when Stoudemire -- the team's No. 2 option -- is out. But Anthony scored with a greater efficiency (4% higher FG%) when Stoudemire was hurt because he was able to operate in isolation and in the post.
One scout who's responsible for watching Atlantic Division teams thinks Stoudemire needs to take a secondary role when sharing the floor with Anthony to make it work.
"One of them has to take a step back -- and it's Amare," the scout said.
Question: What do you think? What do Anthony and Stoudemire need to do to maximize their effectiveness together?
Please leave your comments below.
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5dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann