Amare Stoudemire finds no playoff success away from Phoenix; Hedo Turkoglu, J-Rich also struggling

Posted by on April 24th, 11:44 pm

Amare Stoudemire won as many playoff games and just two more regular season games than Steve Nash this season. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Amare Stoudemire won as many playoff games and just two more regular season games than Steve Nash this season. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

So as it turns out Amare Stoudemire ended up winning as many playoffs games as Steve Nash this year.

That was the case after the Boston Celtics finished off Amare’s New York Knicks this afternoon in a series that was very competitive in Boston but not so much in Madison Square Garden.

Stoudemire’s advanced stats were beyond atrocious this series. The Knicks lost 46.90 points per 100 possessions with Amare on the floor, according to Basketball Value, thanks in large part to his horrendous Game 3 effort. In that contest he shot 2-for-8 for seven points to go with three boards in 33 minutes while recording a stunningly awful minus 34.

In today’s Game 4 he went for 19 and 12, but he shot just 5-for-20 and posted a -11 in his 44 minutes. I will say the rebounding is impressive, but that’s not the kind of shooting performance the Knicks could afford out of their usually efficient big man.

Even in STAT’s superb Game 1 effort in which he went for 28 points on 12-for-18 shooting and corralled 11 boards the Knicks lost nine points in his 39 minutes on the floor of a two-point loss.

For the series he posted a below average PER of 11.93, 21st among power forwards, to go with a very un-Amare-like true shooting percentage of 44.2 percent.

Of course, Amare has struggled with a back injury the past three games that has most definitely limited his effectiveness, but then again injury issues are one of the biggest reason he’s not a Phoenix Sun these days.

For the season Amare averaged 25.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on 50.2 percent shooting. As for his advanced numbers, he ranked 12th with a 22.78 PER but was very average in terms of Wins Produced (4.4 and a 0.073 WP48) and adjusted plus/minus (-0.90), and his 56.5 true shooting percentage was well below the elite true shooting percentages in the 60s he put up year after year in Phoenix.

Stoudemire’s season more or less corroborates with his advanced stats history. He has always been a PER beast, yet for some reason that makes no sense Amare consistently has performed poorly in terms of adjusted plus/minus as he did this season and his career Wins Produced numbers have never justified his max contract status.

This leads me to conclude that both the Suns and Amare were harmed by his departure, as opposed to the conventional viewpoint earlier in the season that Stoudemire was doing just fine on his own. The Suns, of course, never found a go-to guy and consistent low scoring option without him, and their pick-and-roll offense suffered greatly before Marcin Gortat established himself.

Although Stoudemire got to be “The Man” in Manhattan for a few months before Carmelo showed up, he led the Knicks to just two more regular season wins and no more playoff wins than the Suns while playing in the easier Eastern Conference.

Watching STAT struggle in the playoffs against a tough, physical team like Boston also should remind Suns fans why many were against a Stoudemire max contract at the conclusion of last season’s playoffs when Amare could not handle the Lakers.

Of course there’s the school of thought that the Suns should have re-signed Amare to maximize the end of Nash’s career and forget about what happens thereafter, and certainly the Suns would have been a playoff team with a shot to make some noise with STAT in a Suns jersey this season.

Overall the jury on this deal will still be out until the final years of Amare’s deal when we see if his knees really do crumble as the Suns predicted they might, but even now despite all the glitz and glamour of Stoudemire “reviving New York basketball” at the beginning of the season his poor playoff performance reminds us why Suns fans weren’t convinced Amare was the max-contract player to take Phoenix to the promised land.

Former Suns not shining in Orlando

Meanwhile in Orlando, the Suns should be thanking their lucky stars that Hedo Turkoglu isn’t on their books for about $35 million over the next three years after watching his epic fail in the Magic’s series against the Hawks.

Turkoglu has attempted 36 shots in the series and knocked down just nine on the way to compiling a 3.25 PER. He has shot atrociously bad in every game this series: 2-for-9, 4-for-16, 3-for-11, 2-for-12. Yet as he did in Phoenix he just keeps shooting, and tonight in a crucial Game 4 he missed a contested game-tying three at the buzzer as the Magic fell behind three games to one.

Jason Richardson, meanwhile, wasn’t even in the arena Sunday night after being suspended for the game for slapping Zaza Pachulia in the face during Game 3.

Even when he has played J-Rich isn’t making near the impact he did during his stellar playoff run last season in Phoenix as he has knocked down just 30 percent of his shots while attempting 10 per game. His three-point stroke isn’t there either, having hit 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) while averaging 8.7 points per game overall, and the Magic have lost 10.57 points per 100 with J-Rich in the game.

Considering the Suns got back Marcin Gortat, the most positive part about their future going forward, I don’t think J-Rich or Hedo are exactly missed in the desert these days.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire · Hedo Turkoglu · Jason Richardson · New York Knicks · Orlando Magic · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 25, 2011 at 3:06 am

    The question must be asked. This is more directed towards those who are strongly pro-Nash moving forward.

    Looking at New York, a team that barely limped into the playoffs, the question has to be asked. Before that question, I understand that the Knicks *appear* to be on the way up so for them, this is a building block of sorts. Even still, how pathetic were they? Anyway, back to that question:

    Why does anybody want Phoenix to be a fringe playoff one-and-done kind of team on the way down? What good would a sweep of any kind have done to anybody? To back into the playoffs only to be murdered there and to reinforce the fact that the franchise has no real business there?

    Oh, and please. None of the following:

    “Anything could happen!”
    “Look at Indy!”
    “As a Suns fan I’d gladly take four more games for the season!”

    Yeah, a lot of people were complaining about J Rich being dealt to get rid of the human-miss-machine Hedo.

    You really wanted that guy hanging around one more full year only to lose him anyway? Nah.

    I don’t want to be a New York type team on the way down for 2 more seasons. I don’t want to be some body’s first round victim and have that be the best the franchise can do.

  • 2 Nba critic // Apr 25, 2011 at 5:11 am

    J rich needs to be with a team for a full season to find himself and get adjusted to his role. He did the same thing in phoenix and then he exploded. Anyone else think he could be going to the bulls? With what was just mentioned I don’t think any team will truely benefit immediately from having him.

  • 3 Steve // Apr 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I think NY’s team is awful. I said so before the Melo trade, and now especially after the trade. Without a PG who can distribute the ball where they want it and when they want it, Melo and Amare are going to remain fairly inefficient, in many respects. I see New York as a team that can trade shots with the best of them, but when it comes to making stops and hitting the big shots, I don’t think they can do either (just look at the results from Game 1 and Game 2).

    As for the Suns’ future, I’m all about rebuilding. The quicker we get to it, the quicker we can get it done. I want to be contending for championships again, and I want a big, obnoxious Suns World Champions banner to hang in my living room and an annoying flag to put up on my rooftop.

    I know this is way off topic, but since we were talking about J-Rich, it got me thinking. I have heard numerous accounts that Nash got divorced from his wife due to her being J-Rich’s baby mama. I have also heard many people say they got divorced because Nash was cheating on his wife with a younger girl. I heard this morning that supposedly some local publication (I think my “source” said Phoenix Home and Garden) put out an article of Nash’s ex with her new baby (not black) explaining the whole situation, saying Steve cheated on her.

    Can anyone tell me with 100% certainty what actually happened? I’m more inclined to believe that Nash cheated on his wife, but so many people on this site have suggested the baby-mama theory that I question my gut.

  • 4 Mel. // Apr 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I think one of the most telling aspects of this series was the fact that STAT became the invisible man due to an injury… but one that–by his own admission–he had “never suffered from,” in all of his previous years as a player in Phoenix.

    To paraphrase Han Solo: “I got a bad feeling about this.” Back injuries are historically tricky, and something which has been intrinsically linked to imbalance issues in the body’s alignment. As such, it makes me wonder if the fact that Phoenix’s warlocks had to play Humpty Dumpty with Amar’e throughout the entirety of his career provided them with superior insight into how to correct his post-surgical problems; something that he may not be getting in NYC.

    In any case, I certainly don’t wish the guy any ill in regards to his future with the Knicks, but hell if this doesn’t suddenly make the issue of that max-money contract seem a lot less like our loss…

  • 5 Michael Schwartz // Apr 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    @Steve The only people who can tell you with 100 percent certainty what happened are Nash, his wife and maybe some family members. They are keeping this one incredibly close to the vest as Nash has not been willing to speak publicly about anything regarding the baby at all (which I suppose is his right since it’s a private issue). I’d like to take the “innocent until proven guilty” stance in regards to J-Rich.

  • 6 Phil // Apr 27, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I am with Steve – its not surprising NY stunk as they have the two most overrated superstars in the league. Its another reminder of why the Suns were right to let Amare go. That doesn’t mean they were right to spend the money on Hedo and Warrick, but the Amare decision was spot on

  • 7 Andrea // Jan 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    * Doesn’t believe in the Big Bang or evuootiln. A lot of people don’t because it doesn’t jive with religion.* Doesn’t understand global warming science. Hardly anyone understands global warming science. Most people think that global warming is caused by elevated levels of CO2.* Supports George Bush no matter what he does. Even the dumbest Republicans are parting ways with Dumbya.* Doesn’t think Social Security has problems. SS is being paid today isn’t it? There must not be a problem.* Only watches Fox News. I watch Fox “news” on the rare occasion that I need some fair and balanced news.* Didn’t think there was a housing bubble. Gotta love a good bubble.* Bought Phoenix investment property in 2005. Ouch!

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