The Knicks Lose, Behind 2-0, And Lose Yet Another Player, This Time To Stupidity

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Stoudemire leaving AmericanAirlines Arena with his arm, stitched up and in a sling
AP/Lynne Sladky
Well, the Knicks lost again to Miami, losing 104-94 to fall behind 2-0 to Miami Heat in this best of seven series.

The good news is that the Knicks, as a whole, played much better--at least the game was competitive compared to last Sunday's humiliation. Carmelo Anthony--you know, the guy some New York media have tried to play off as LeBron Jame's equal--actually played quite well, carrying the offensive load in the first half with his myriad of jab steps and pull up jumpers, and getting to the free throw line.

But then fatigue set in, and when Anthony went cold in the 4th quarter, nobody else stepped up much. Especially not Amare Stoudemire, the Knick's other "superstar". His statline looked respectable: 18 points and 7 rebounds, with a block. But Stoudemire missed several and one opportunities when he would miss the layup after getting fouled.

On defense, though, Stoudemire was horrible (as always), being outplayed by Chris Bosh and generally missing rotations.

But his biggest blunder came after the game, when, apparently frustrated over the loss (or his rapidly declining status as a star player?), Stoudemire punched a fire extinguisher case, shattering the glass and slicing his hand along the way.

While the crew at the AmericanAirlines Arena cleaned up the mess promptly and security barred media from getting a closer look, reports said Stoudemire lost quite a bit of blood, needing multiple stitches. He left the game with his arm in a sling.

This cut will likely knock him out for the rest of the series, adding to the list yet another injury to the Knicks roster (along with Jeremy Lin, still recovering from knee surgery, and Iman Shumpert, who blew out his knee in Game 1).

But while the talking heads on sports shows and New York tabloid back pages will surely condemn Stoudemire for potentially costing his team, we're not going to dive into cliches about how he letting his team down, for two reasons:

1: The Knicks had no chance to win this series even had Stoudemire not hurt himself

2: Stoudemire's absence may help the Knicks

The fact is, Stoudemire and Anthony have never been able to gel, and with the two being bad defenders, putting them on the court at the same time means the entire team takes a step back defensively. Despite Stoudemire's 100 million contract (really, his former employers, the Phoenix Suns, must be laughing their asses off right now) and all star status, the Knicks have been noticeably better without him all year. First, in the Linsanity phrase, when Stoudemire missed time over personal matters, Jared Jeffries' strong defense--especially his charge taking skills--was a strong asset. Then, in early April, when Stoudemire missed time with his bad back, Anthony thrived playing the power forward slot.

And finally, we have eyes, we've seen Stoudemire suck on defense all season.

So good riddance, Amare Stoudemire. The Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden, where, hopefully, the rabid, win-starved, LeBron-hating New York crowd could pump the team up (or maybe sway the officiating, because these NBA refs suck) enough to a victory.

That's the best case scenario for the rest of this season, folks: not get swept.

Also, the fire extinguisher that Stoudemire is on Twitter.

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bsin@villagevoice.com/@bencsin


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