New York Knicks Are Better off Without Amar'e Stoudemire in the Lineup

Mick AkersAnalyst IMarch 7, 2015

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 28:  Amare Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks sits on the bench during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 28, 2011 in Oakland, California.  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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After New York Knicks power forward, Amar'e Stoudmeire, injured his hand punching a fire extinguisher casing, he made the Knicks better taking himself out of action.

Stoudemire missed 13 of the final 17 games heading into the playoffs going 9-4 during that stretch and went 14-5 in the 19 total games Amare missed this season.

When Stoudemire is out, there is one less prima donna to worry about for the Knicks, and they can play better team basketball with him sitting on the sidelines.

In Stoudemire's absence at the end of the season two Knicks elevated their games, seeing a significant jump in their numbers compared to their season stats.

It has been said before that Melo plays better when Stoudemire is out, and his numbers this season without the star support that theory.

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and guard J.R. Smith gave New York a big boost, making up for the numbers missing when Stoudemire was out during their playoff making push.

Anthony stepped up his season numbers from 22.6 points and 6.3 rebounds to 30.6 points and 7.7 rebounds without Stoudemire in those 13 games, and J.R. Smith went from 12.5 points and 3.9 rebounds to 15 points and 5.3 rebounds in that stretch.

Without having to dump that ball into paint as frequently when Stoudemire is out, the Knicks must hit their outside shots, mainly their three-point attempts.

Another player that benefits when Stoudemire is not in the mix is Steve Novak, as the Knicks will rely on him to compliment Melo and Smith's scoring production with Amar'e out.

Novak hasn't played all that well so far in the series, averaging 4.5 points, well below his season total of 8.8 points per contest, but expect his numbers to go up while Stoudemire is out.

Most would expect New York's center, Tyson Chandler's numbers to go up in Stoudemire's absence, but his numbers in the regular season show that he is pretty much the same player with or without Amar'e on the floor.

So the Knicks will just need him to be healthy and contribute his average of 11.3 points, 9.9 rebounds per contest to better their chances of a "W" in Game 3.

Don't be surprised if the Knicks win in Game 3 and show that without one of their "big 3" they play even better as a team of five.