It was a happy day at the Garden, one of the happiest days in recent memory. But you wouldn't have known it by the look on Amar'e Stoudemire's face as he stormed to the bench with 1:33 left in the Knicks 114-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Stoudemire had just fouled out of the game, having picked up his sixth foul while getting in the way of John Salmons as he went in for a dunk. When Stoudemire arrived at the bench, things went from bad too worse. He threw his goggles - he claims to have tossed them to a trainer - and officials assessed him with a technical, his 15th of the season.
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So here's the bad news: One more technical, and Stoudemire will have 16 on the season, meaning he automatically will be suspended for a game. And here's the good news: With the addition of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks might be able to win a game without him.
"We can lose him, and we don't want to do that. He's going to play with emotion and hopefully he can handle it," D'Antoni said, before pausing with a smile. "I do know that we have some other options if he does have to go out."
Stoudemire scored 19 points, shooting 6-for-13. His 13 shots were about half the amount Anthony took en route to scoring his game-high 27.
D'Antoni said that the team obviously had a lot of kinks to work out in its offense - Thursday will be its first full practice together - and he is confident that everyone will get their chance offensively.
"Amar'e will get his touches," he said. "When they're all on the same page, which they are, it makes it a lot easier."
Stoudemire said he was happy that Anthony could step up and have a big game, especially when he had to go out at the end. Anthony scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including six in the final 1:18.
Said Stoudemire: "He played Carmelo Basketball."