As we reported earlier, the Knicks and Steve Kerr still don’t have a contract worked out. Phil Jackson said weeks earlier that the process may take awhile in choosing a head coach, but the Kerr-Knicks dealings have gone at a snail’s pace. Part of that may be Kerr weighing his options, but the same could be said for Jackson, who may want to get a feel for what players think of Kerr.
If the latter is true, Kerr has the approval of Amar’e Stoudemire, according to Ian Begley:
“I like Steve Kerr. For one, when he was a GM (in Phoenix, when Stoudemire was with the Suns) he was always preaching about winning and winning a title and that’s something that I adored about him,” Stoudemire said earlier this week on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio. “And then also, secondly, he has a formula to win; he’s been a winner in this league before. He wants to win. And he reminds me of somewhat of a player-coach that knows the game and knows what players go through as far as ups and downs throughout the year and that’s going to help him.”
Stoudemire also referenced Kerr’s relationship to Phil Jackson and how Jackson will be able to mentor Kerr. Stoudemire believes he’d be a good fit for the tandem because of his move to the low post and his ability to hit the mid-range jumper or work off the dribble.
In theory, Stoudemire could thrive in a triangle-like system. As last season went on, Stoudemire’s post-ups became more effective, and according to Synergy, he ranked 47th in the NBA in post-ups, scoring .91 points per play on 48% shooting. He was also pretty good in catch-and-shoot situations, averaging .98 ppp on 49% shooting.
However, the concern with moving towards a triangle — and this is largely my biggest fear with the current roster construction — is moving away from the pick-and-roll and floor-spreading the Knicks have utilized so well the last two years. Stoudemire’s most efficient play last season (used on a regular basis anyway) was as a pick-and-roll roll man where he averaged 1.22 ppp, NINTH best in the league (!). Tyson Chandler, assuming he’ll remain a Knick, is also a far better pick-and-roll man than a post-up player, and he might find himself out of sorts in a triangle system. In general, the Knicks have used the spread pick-and-roll to become one of the most efficient offenses the last two seasons (third in ’12-’13, seventh in ’13-’14), and some players might struggle in a new system that isn’t built to their strengths.