This was mentioned by some people yesterday (and probably before that) and crossed my mind whilst I showered last night, and now Alan Hahn's bringing it up, so I know it's valid: Would it behoove Mike D'Antoni to play Amar'e Stoudemire off the bench? Here's Hahn:
Here's a crazy idea: What if D'Antoni went with Stoudemire off the bench as a Sixth Man, similarly to how Jeff Van Gundy used Latrell Sprewell for most of the 1999 lockout season? Harrellson could play the role of a "stretch-4" next to Chandler with the first five and Stoudemire would get work against most team's second units with Shumpert and, as a primary target, perhaps he can develop some much-needed rhythm and maybe that will help give the offense better balance.
First of all, it'll probably never happen, so feel free to dismiss this entire topic.
Second of all, I don't read this as a suggestion that Stoudemire be demoted. He'd still get ample minutes, just with different units. Without a point guard who can be relied upon to direct and engage everybody, the spacing with both Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler on the floor has been problematic. When Amar'e looks to drive, Chandler tends to be in the vicinity of the basket, dragging a help defender over with him and making life difficult for all offensive parties. Yesterday, the Knicks' spacing with Chandler on the court looked best when Josh Harrellson was there as that "stretch four", and Amar'e's offense looked best when Chandler was off the floor.
So, the theory goes, you could make things easier for everybody by bringing Amar'e off the bench and staggering his and Chandler's minutes a bit more, at least while they're still learning to cohere and/or waiting on Baron Davis to get healthy and feed them delicious passes. They'd obviously have to overlap somewhat...just less.The benching part will never happen, but the staggering of minutes seems like it's worth a more extended try. It's that or just let Stoudemire and Chandler player bumper cars until they figure things out, which also has something to be said for it, I suppose. Thoughts?