Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Why Knicks might not miss Stoudemire
By Ernest Tolden and Will Cohen
Amare Stoudemire is out indefinitely with a bulging disk in his back. The New York Knicks won without him on Monday, and are 6-1 this season in games that Stoudemire has missed.
But does that make New York a better team when Stoudemire is out of the lineup?
In the seven games Stoudemire has missed opponents have scored 89.4 points per game and shot 40.7 percent from the floor.
In the 43 games Stoudemire has played, the Knicks are five games under .500 (19-24). Opponents average more than 95 points per game and shoot better than 44 percent from the floor.
Stoudemire's plus-minus rating this season is -47. The only player on the Knicks with a worse plus-minus is Mike Bibby at -77.
Although the numbers show the Knicks are better defensively when Stoudemire's off the court, they have played much better defense since Mike Woodson took over. Since March 14, Woodson's first game as interim head coach, the Knicks are allowing a league-low 86.0 points per game.
The Knicks got back to .500 (25-25) with Monday's win, and currently are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Still, AccuScore projections have the Knicks' playoff hopes taking a significant hit with Stoudemire's absence.
AccuScore gives the Knicks a 64.4 percent chance of making the postseason with Stoudemire. Without him, that percentage drops to 54.3.
This has been one of the least-productive seasons of Stoudemire's 10-year career. He's averaging 17.6 points, the fewest since his rookie season (13.5 PPG) and a career-low 8.0 rebounds. Stoudemire also is shooting less than 50 percent from the floor (47.7), something he hasn't done for an entire season since his second year in the league, 2003-04.
Statistical support for this story from NBA.com.