Re: The Return of Amar'e Stoudemire
You can't get the most out of your 3 max money players Amare, Melo, Chandler if you start all 3. Yeah, they can play together, but that puts one of them totally out of their comfort zone or limits their production.
If you play them all nearly equal minutes throughout the game, then either Melo is floating around the 3pt line while Felton/Chandler are in the PNR, and Amare occupies the midpost; Chandler is clogging up the lane while Melo is in the midpost and Amare is in the pick and roll; or Amare is a spot up long range 2pt shooter while the others are in their spots.
With Amare off the bench, Chandler can get every single pick and roll opportunity he's been getting all year long, and Melo is featured inside, and the court is spread. Furthermore, you should have better defense on the floor, because Melo has been if anything a strength defending the 4 spot and making his rotations...possibly been their most consistent defender all year, plus Kidd and Shumpert get to stay on the floor defensively next to Felton.
While Amare can be featured in the pick and roll once he subs in for Tyson, and then get his one on one opportunities when Melo sits to start the 2nd, as well as featured in the PnR. In other words, truly being maximized, and stabilizing the offense while Melo is out is a big deal. Carmelo is playing 40 minutes everytime there's a close game, because he has to anchor the offense. Now I can officially say that Amare can be featured and allow Melo to rest going into the 4th quarter of these games, or at least play more off the ball and float around the 3pt line while Amare goes to work. Amare looks completely back and is actually drawing double coverage due to his post game and making the right passes out of it. And I have no doubt in my mind if he were given his normal allotment of shots could be a 20+ppg scorer again.
When the close games together, Carmelo usually has the ball in his hands more, so things can still flow. The spacing is fine if Carmelo has his hands on the ball working the pick and roll with either Amare or Tyson because he's not in the mid post. But it takes too much out of him and would limit Felton's effectiveness to have Carmelo run high pick and rolls all night...not to mention bang with pfs inside on the defensive end.