Mike Woodson removed Amar'e Stoudemire with just under eight minutes left in Sunday's game and said he never thought of going back to him.
With the Heat loading up on Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith hoisting three-pointers, the Knicks could have used another scoring option. But after the Knicks' 99-93 loss, Woodson said matchup considerations kept Stoudemire on the bench.
"They were small and I went with Tyson [Chandler] against [Chris] Bosh and they played small around Bosh," Woodson said. "We just tried to keep the matchup. I'm not saying he wasn't a good fit. I'm saying that's the way I decided to go because they were small."
Stoudemire is a defensive liability, but he was effective in the pick-and-roll Sunday, scoring 12 points and going 5-for-7 from the field.
He continues to be professional about his role as a sub and as a spectator down the stretch of many games. "It's Coach's decision," he said. "Whenever my number is called, I'm ready."
Woodson planned to talk to Smith about finding ways to be more effective. He shot 3-of-14 from three and committed three turnovers,including a bad pass late that led to LeBron James dunk.
“You can’t take 18 shots and 14 shots are threes,” Woodson said. “That’s a bit much. He’s got to mix it up and try to get to the free-throw line. I know a lot of times those shots look appetizing and he makes a lot of them. Tonight he didn’t make them.”
Amar'e Stoudemire on bench down stretch against Heat's small lineup
Newsday | Mar 4