When Carmelo Anthony exited tonight’s game with a knee injury after falling to the ground, it would have been easy for the New York Knicks to concede to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After all, the Knicks were trailing by 22 points midway through the second quarter on the road during the second game of a back-to-back.
But, instead of giving up, the Knicks showed desire and heart, and with the lead of Amar’e Stoudemire, came all the way back to defeat the Cavaliers by a final score of 102 to 97.
Stoudemire (10-15) scored 22 points with two rebounds, six assists and one block, while Steve Novak added 15 points.
If tonight does anything for the Knicks other than give them another tally in the win column, hopefully it allows Mike Woodson to realize what many of us have known for months: Amar’e Stoudemire needs to get more minutes.
It doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to start–although I do believe that it does–but it does mean that Amar’e needs 30+ minutes per game and the majority of the minutes in the fourth quarter, especially the final minutes of the game.
Of course, tonight’s result shouldn’t get confused: the Knicks are most certainly not a better player without Carmelo Anthony.
Carmelo is this team’s superstar and he is one of the league’s top five players–there is no debating that.
What tonight should make clear is not that Carmelo is less valuable than we think, but instead that Amar’e is much more valuable than his minutes per game would suggest.
Stoudemire is easily the second best player on this team, and he deserves to be treated like it.
That means that when the Knicks need a big basket and the defense focuses on Carmelo, don’t turn to J.R. Smith or Raymond Felton, turn to Amar’e Stoudemire.
As he showed tonight with his second-effort bucket to give the Knicks a four point lead with 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Stoudemire can make the big play at the right time.
It’s clear as day to the majority of us that Stoudemire deserves a bigger role.
It’s now time for Woodson to realize it.
About the Author
Written by Michael Burke
I'm Mike. I'm 16 and love sports. I'm a Knicks, Yankees, Colts and Notre Dame die-hard. My dream is to cover the Knicks professionally, so I hope that PSB can help me reach that goal. Follow me on twitter: @michaelburke47