Stoudemire Explodes For 39 As Knicks Unleash Offense

Published on: 20th October, 2010

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Stoudemire Explodes For 39 As Knicks Unleash Offense  | read this item

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New York – Leading up to tonight’s pre-season game against their cross-river rival New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks had not demonstrated the innovative run and gun offensive style that has been, for so long associated with their coach, Mike D’Antoni.

With new personnel across the board, these Knicks had been slow to grasp D’Antoni’s signature “seven seconds or less” offensive sets designed to hit the open man and shoot it quickly, keeping the pressure on the defense. Their new point guard, Raymond Felton, seemed to be struggling mightily to develop the necessary chemistry with the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, particularly on the pick and roll that Stoudemire had perfected over several years playing in Phoenix with Steve Nash, the NBA’s most accomplished point guard and a two-time MVP of the league.

Tonight, we witnessed a different Knicks team, especially when D’Antoni paired Felton with Toney Douglas in the backcourt. The team ran and then, ran some more as the two diminutive guards used their speed, quickness, and ball skills to put constant pressure on the Nets as the Knicks defeated the Nets 117-111 at Madison Square Garden.

D’Antoni was pleased with what he got out of his two sub-six foot guards.

“I liked the pairing when we played up in Boston,” D’Antoni said. “Ray didn’t play particularly well but the team played well. Amar’e played well with them and they do look good together. There’s a lot more speed.”

D’Antoni was asked tonight how Felton and Douglas would match up, defensively, against bigger guards.

“I think you can go with them together but there will be nights where you need size there,” he said. ”Raymond can guard twos really well. He is really strong. He has had to guard the big twos in the past. It may not be ideal at the time, but they are going to play a lot of minutes together.”

Douglas is getting more used to the system, here in his second season out of Florida State.

I love it, run and gun basketball,” he said. “I told Raymond if he gets the ball, I am out right away and if I get it, I am pushing the ball up. We are all versatile and all athletic enough to run the floor and get buckets.”

As a rookie, Douglas often played too fast and out of control but now, his confidence is at its peak as a pro.

I just try to make sure I disrupt the other team’s offense and it starts from the point guard position,” said Douglas. “As a rookie, I used to rush things and I would lose track of the offense. Now, the game has slowed down for me and I see things that I couldn’t see last year, no matter how much studying and film I looked at.”

Stoudemire scored 39 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in his best performance of the pre-season. He looked as unstoppable on the offensive end as his $100 million contract demands he needs to be. He played 37 minutes, his longest output of the pre-season.

“I think we only have a few games left so we’re trying to get acclimated to how we’re going to play in the regular season,” Stoudemire said. “So I think my time’s going to be ramping up here in the next few games.”

He won’t be playing tomorrow night, according to D’Antoni so he was given extra minutes tonight.
The Knicks ability to win games this season may be more dependent on this type of production from Stoudemire on a nightly basis, though. Unless players like Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler begin to pull their weight offensively and on the boards in a consistent manner, it’s looking more and more like a season of Stoudemire plus whoever is hot on any particular night to lead the Knicks, this season.

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