Photo Credit: ClutchPoints
Amar’e Stoudemire was a basketball superstar in every sense of the term. Whether it was his 6’10 stature, highlight-reel alley-oop finishes, or his off-court ventures, Amar’e retains a spot in the NBA fan’s brain. Despite several injures and a multitude of plagued seasons, Stoudemire shaped an honorable career in the NBA—six time All-Star, five All-NBA Teams, 2003 Rookie of The Year, and one of the most statistically dominant scoring stretches in league history.
The Dependency Factor
Amar’e Stoudemire possessed a unique skillset of elite scoring and rebounding despite subpar passing habits, comparable to former 76ers legend, Moses Malone. He had a great post game, and frequently operated off the glass. Amar’e was also a fantastic pick n’ roll finisher, which often translated into a highlight dunk or lob. By the peak of his powers (’07-‘10), Amar’e was exhibiting incredible scoring averages: 22.6 PPG on 63.2% true shooting (+9.0 rTS%, Stoudemire’s true shooting % – league average true shooting %). This combination of incredible all-time high efficiency and competent volume combined for his undeniable scoring expertise.
Despite Amar’e Stoudemire’s proficient scoring, his stellar finishing depended upon a great playmaker who could make that precise lob pass or pick n’ roll dish. His type of finishing didn’t maintain the same value as Reggie Miller curling off the screen to create space and nail a three. Due to this dependency on a strong creator, Stoudemire’s scoring doesn’t carry the same value to every team.
The Steve Nash Effect
At his zenith, Steve Nash was an offensive eager beaver. He attacked defenses with an elite combination of historic level passing and deathly efficient scoring. Even the most dominant defenses of the 2000s had to respect both of his strong suits.
Amar’e Stoudemire heavily relied on Nash’s playmaking prowess to score. From 2007 to 2010 (prime years with Nash) 64.0% of Stoudemire’s two-point field goals were assisted. Without Steve Nash’s presence, 53.5% of Stoudemire’s two-point field goals came from an assist; an obvious and substantial drop off. In addition to the decline in his assisted field goals, his efficiency took a hit: Amar’e dropped 6.0% true shooting in his next four seasons sans Steve Nash. Needless to say, Amar’e Stoudemire used Nash’s passing prowess to thrive on the :07 seconds or less squad.
In short, Amar’e Stoudemire was a scoring statistical darling, however, his value was limited by the dependency factor on playmakers. Steve Nash’s arrival in Phoenix propelled Stoudemire’s scoring numbers to sky-high limits. In 2011, when he moved across the country to play with the Knickerbockers and without a superstar playmaker such as Nash, his game took a sharp decrease and never reached the same heights again.