NBA Playoffs 2012: Why Amar'e Stoudemire Should Come off of the Bench

Sam Quinn@@Samquinn23Contributor IIIApril 23, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Amare Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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Am I suggesting the Knicks should drastically cut Amar'e Stoudemire's playing time?

Absolutely not.

I just think they need to rework how it's allocated.

The most effective way to utilize Amar'e in the playoffs would be to use him as a sixth man.

Here's the breakdown of how I would use Stoudemire:

Amar'e would sit for the first six minutes of the game while the Knicks start Carmelo Anthony at power forward. This creates matchup problems for both Miami (because Bosh would have a hard time guarding Carmelo) and Chicago (same with Boozer).

Then, at the six-minute mark of the first quarter, I would bring in Amar'e and let Carmelo sit.

There are two major benefits to this plan.

First of all, it allows Amar'e to carry the offense for a stretch. As we saw last year, Stoudemire's at his best when he's the focal point of the offense. Even though it's temporary, it allows the Knicks to best utilize his talents.

Second of all, it creates a big matchup problem. Most teams don't have someone on their bench equipped to guard an seven-foot tall All-Star power forward. Not only would Amar'e be at his best, but the opponent would be at their most vulnerable. 

At the beginning of the second quarter, Amar'e goes back to the bench for a few minutes (let's say three or four) to rest his legs and let Carmelo get back into a groove. 

At around the eight-minute mark, Amar'e would come back into the game and would play with Carmelo for the remainder of the half.

Repeat the same process in the second half. 

I worry about the wear and tear on Stoudemire's knees. I don't think he should be playing more than 30 or so minutes per game.

This plan allows the Knicks to best utilize Amar'e in a more limited capacity, while also giving Carmelo Anthony the freedom to run the offense his way.

Stoudemire is still obviously a big part of New York's playoff plans, but I think he would be best utilized off of the bench.