D'Antoni talks with Stoudemire about doing too much

The Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire reacts during Saturday's loss

The Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire reacts during Saturday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. (Oct. 30, 2010) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - In the words of Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks are still very much in the getting-to-know-you phase on offense three games into the season.

"Everybody was pretty much on a different team last year, so it takes time," Stoudemire said after practice Monday. "We're doing it on the fly."

That includes Stoudemire, who in addition to averaging 21.3 points and 7.7 rebounds, also has turned the ball over an eye-opening 5.7 times per game.

Although it's far too small a sample size to read too much into any one statistic, coach Mike D'Antoni still needed to check in with the Knicks' prize acquisition regarding his turnovers.

"I think he's trying to do a little too much," D'Antoni said. "We talked about it. Just slow it down a bit. Just take your time knowing that guys are going to converge on you and become a little bit more of a playmaker. I think he knows that."

Part of the problem has been the Knicks' inability to consistently knock down shots, particularly Danilo Gallinari, who is 2-for-11 from three-point range. That's made it far too appealing for defenses to focus on Stoudemire and take their chances with everyone on the perimeter.

"We've got to get guys to knock down shots like crazy because that will deviate a lot of the pressure he's getting," D'Antoni said of Stoudemire. "Right now, they don't have a whole lot of fear leaving some of our wings, and we've got to instill that fear in them."

The next opportunity comes Tuesday when the Knicks host the Orlando Magic, and they'll have a new addition to their rotation in Anthony Randolph.

An athletic power forward acquired during the offseason from Golden State in the David Lee sign-and-trade deal, Randolph has been out since he sprained his ankle the day before the season opener last week. The team's timetable had him out for two weeks, which Randolph beat by a full week.

"It helps being 21," Randolph said.

D'Antoni wasn't quite sure how much he'll use Randolph against the Magic, saying the game will dictate that. But the coach certainly was happy to have another option off the bench at a time when he's trying to identify the best players to create consistent offense each game. "We're doing a great job defensively and that's kind of carrying us over," Stoudemire said. "As long as we're playing defense the way we have been, we'll be OK."

Notes & quotes: Eddy Curry, who suffered a strained hamstring on the second day of training camp, did not return to full practice as expected. Instead, he went through shooting drills on a side court. "They say he can do everything except five-on-five," D'Antoni said, "so two or three days maybe."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NBA video

Vote

How many games will Amar'e Stoudemire play this season?

30 or fewer 31-45 46-60 61-82

advertisement | advertise on newsday