Amar’e Stoudemire’s post game has a role in Mike Woodson’s offense

Earlier this summer, Amar’e Stoudemire paid a hefty price (approximately $50k) to work on his previously non-existent post game with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Given the history of Stoudemire’s offensive game, devastation as a role man with a tint of mid-range shooting, there has been almost unanimous sentiment among the basketball community that Stoudemire’s post game won’t be used much in games. I too felt the same way, until I looked deeper into the matter.

It isn’t that Amar’e is going to become a post up player. He’s not. That has never been his game, and likely won’t ever be the base of his offensive repertoire. However, that doesn’t mean Stoudemire’s post work this offseason can’t help his game. After analyzing Mike Woodson’s offense, I think there will be opportunities for Stoudemire to score in a post up game and in that area of the floor. We know that Woodson’s history indicates that he run a slower, more isolation based type offense. Unlike Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the pick and roll has never been a staple of the Woodson offense. That doesn’t mean pick and rolls will be eliminated, but we’ll likely see less of them next season. That means Amar’e Stoudemire will have to find other ways to score, because he won’t be rolling to the basket every third possession.

Thanks to Synergy Sports, I was able to track both Stoudemire’s shot attempts when rolling to the basket compared to when he was posted up. After Mike Woodson took over on March 14th, Amar’e Stoudemire played in 15 games. In those 15 games, including the playoff series against Miami, Stoudemire had 35 shot attempts rolling to the hoop and 28 shot attempts while posting up. I certainly was surprised by these numbers, as I expected a higher number of attempts as a roll man. From simply watching the games, I didn’t remember Stoudemire posting up so many times. After looking at the film, I realized that the Knicks weren’t utilizing Stoudemire in a post up game like you’d see a normal post up big man, such as LaMarcus Aldridge or Carlos Boozer. Read more…