MIA: Amar’e Stoudemire

by April 19, 2010

The Suns are going to need the real STAT to show up if they hope to tie up their series with the surging Blazers, sayeth the Arizona Republic (and everyone else, really): “The Suns need a few things against Portland but one thing can turn this series back their way in a hurry: Amar’e Stoudemire. That was not the Amar’e Stoudemire that has been seen dominating the past two months to the point that Alvin Gentry called him the best player in the league. Stoudemire fouled out after doing so twice all season, getting half of the fouls on offense. He grabbed two defensive rebounds but that happens quite a bit. He took only three free throws (he averaged 7.7) and was 8 of 19 from the field, getting blocked inside three times and missing five of the seven jump shots he took. ‘We tried to front him,’ Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. ‘We’re trying to not give him easy looks. Double team. We just try to make every look he got tough so he couldn’t get a rhythm going.’ A lot of it had to do with Marcus Camby and Portland’s length, the one quality in an opposing front line that can bother Stoudemire offensively. Little of it had to do with Stoudemire. This one is on the Suns to get him going in the right spots on the floor and hit more shots on the perimeter to open the lane that the Blazers clogged well. ‘We’ll improve making the game easier or more advantageous for Amar’e instead of just throwing the ball and making him fight the zone,’ Suns guard Steve Nash said of a Portland man defense that zones the interior.’ Nash called the Suns offense ‘predictable.’ Maybe this outcome should have been predictable. That was Stoudemire’s lowest scoring game in ones that he played 30 minutes or more since they played, guess who, Portland.”