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.