Amar’e Stoudemire is the face of the Knicks franchise, but he has to stop carrying the weight of it himself.
That’s basically what Mike D’Antoni told Newsday — Stoudemire has been trying to do too much.
“I think he’s trying to do a little too much,” D’Antoni said. “We talked about it. Just slow it down a bit. Just take your time knowing that guys are going to converge on you and become a little bit more of a playmaker. I think he knows that.”
There’s two parts to being a playmaker and getting an assist. One is making the right pass. The other is someone knocking down the shot. Right now the Knicks are not knocking down the outside shot — as a team New York is shooting 26.9 percent from 16 feet out to the arc (long twos) and 29.1 percent from three. Both are near the bottom of the league. Designated gunner Danilo Gallinari is shooting 20.8 percent through three games and is bothered by his wrist.
The other thing is right now the Knicks are not getting the easy transition buckets they need to open things up. The Knicks are averaging 98.1 possessions per game, which puts the 15th in the league. Smack in the middle. Average.
This was a franchise that was overhauled last summer, growing pains should be expected. How fast they get past those pains depends on fixing the tempo and outside shooting issue. Both would make Stoudemire look a lot better.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.