By Alan Walsh
On Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, Amar’e Stoudemire scored 22 points in a Knicks 99-93 win. That’s good for most players; however, most players that score 22 points are playing upwards of 30-40 minutes of the game. Stoudemire got his in only 22 minutes!
In a game the Knicks needed perhaps the most this season, he took it upon himself to end the four-game slide
“After losing four straight, it’s never a good feeling losing games, so tonight we came out with the intensity from the start that we needed,” said Stoudemire, who had yet another efficient shooting performance going 9-for-10 from the field.
Coming off the bench this season is something that he’s adjusted to unusually well. In a sport that undoubtedly has more flashy/show-off moments above the rest, the NBA doesn’t usually resonate that type of attitude in most players. Stoudemire hopes to break that mold around the league but he’s certainly done that in his own locker room.
“I’ve said it from Day 1, for a guy to accept that role you have to take your hat off to him,” said Carmelo Anthony. “A guy who’s been a star in this league for a long time, an all-star who has accomplished so much; for him to have the injuries that he’s had and to have to take a step back, I can only imagine that it was tough for him to accept that within himself. But for him to do that, we as players see that and we respect him for that. We got his back.”
Amar’e currently ranks 16th in the NBA with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 21.99 while only playing in 23 games.
The only player that is close to him in that statistic with that few amount of games played is Anderson Varejao (21.84 PER) who has only played in 25 games. However, his last game was December 18th before he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung, thus ending his season. The only other player in the Top 50 of that category with fewer than 30 games played is Jordan Hill of the LA Lakers- his season looks to be over as well. Everyone else above Stoudemire in PER has played the remainder of their team’s season.