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Friday, November 29, 2013
Opening Tip: Should Knicks bench Amar'e?

By Ian Begley

Wednesday night was a forgettable one for Amar'e Stoudemire.

The power forward had four points, two rebounds and two turnovers in 20 minutes. But those stats don't explain just how bad it was for Stoudemire.

Here's one that does: the New York Knicks were outscored by 29 points when Stoudemire was on the floor.

And that was the latest example of a troubling trend for the 11-year vet.

In Stoudemire's 145 minutes on the floor this season, the Knicks have been outscored by 80 points.

That breaks down to -19.9 points per 36 minutes. So Stoudemire ranks 396 out of 500 NBA players in plus/minus per 36 minutes. Ouch.

When thinking about Stoudemire's production, it's worth remembering that it took him 5-7 games last season to get comfortable on the court. So it would be shortsighted to completely write Stoudemire off based on what we've seen in his first 10 games.

But the numbers are troubling.

They've led some to wonder if Mike Woodson and the Knicks would be better off with Stoudemire on the bench.

Woodson's been committed to keeping Stoudemire in his rotation since he took over as coach in March 2012.

Woodson likely knows that pulling Stoudemire, he of the $100 million contract, from the rotation would be a public relations nightmare.

But with the Knicks (3-11) searching for answers in amid a disastrous start to the season, benching Stoudemire is something the coach may have to consider.

Up now: After the Knicks lost their seventh straight game, Carmelo Anthony said the team is in a "dark place."

One question that arose after Wednesday's loss: What's up with J.R. Smith?

Last, as the Knicks weigh their options with Iman Shumpert, they have to consider how good he may be in five years.

What's next: The Knicks take on the Denver Nuggets Friday night in the final game of their four-game road trip.

Question: Would you bench Amar'e Stoudemire?

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