Amare Stoudemire has been playing at a much lower level as of late and nobody really has an explanation for it. You can not say that it is because of Carmelo Anthony since Stoudemire was putting up big scoring numbers for the first few weeks after the trade took place.
A lot of people are saying that the drop off in Stoudemire’s play is due to fatigue, but whatever the reason, the numbers all say he is playing at a much lower level recently.
Over his last 5 games, Stoudemire is averaging only 18.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. His shooting numbers are way down, shooting 42% from the field and only 73% from the free throw line.
The numbers may be down because Stoudemire is forcing up bad shots lately, throwing up difficult attempts whenever he gets the ball. This may be attributed to the fact that he is also taking less shots per game than he was earlier in the season, having attempted an average of 15.6 in his last 5 games.
While Stoudemire is struggling, so are the Knicks. New York is just 1-4 in their last 5 games and is in danger of falling out of the playoff picture.
Last night the Knicks beat the Orlando Magic, 113-106, in OT. Stoudemire attempted only one field goal in the fourth quarter and one field goal in overtime. For the entire game, Stoudemire took only 10 shots.
The Knicks must get him more involved in the offense. It has come to my attention that he is attempting fewer jump shots than he used to, a shot that was nearly automatic earlier in the season.
Now is a critical time in the season for the Knicks. They just ended their losing streak but are still in danger of missing the playoffs if they continue to play sub-par basketball.
Stoudemire has been the leader of the Knicks all season, and as captain, he still is. No matter who they have acquired via trade, this is still Stoudemire’s team and he has to step up now.
If Stoudemire can get hot then the Knicks will take off, and with a particularly easy schedule over this next week, they could get hot at just the right time. Perhaps that bumpy stretch will wind up saving the Knicks this season, bringing them closer together as a team and now forcing them to play harder.
Stoudemire may be fatigued since he has played a lot of minutes this season. It is better that he is fatigued later in the season than be injured as in the past, but he must overcome this fatigue and play excellent basketball again. If the Knicks want to make the playoffs and upset someone in the first round of the playoffs then Stoudemire must play like the all-star that he is.
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