“We had a chance to win the game,” Stoudemire said after the Knicks’ 11-point loss to the Heat. “They went small and we shot 3s.”
He added: “We didn’t take advantage of our size.”
Stoudemire didn’t call Smith out by name, but it’s fair to assume Stoudemire wasn’t pleased with the shooting guard’s 22 3-point attempts.
New York Knicks
The Knicks took 42 3s in total, their fifth-highest 3-point total in the past 26 seasons. According to Stoudemire, that 3-happy approach led to a failure to capitalize on a size advantage inside.
“There were possessions in which Shane Battier guarded me for a good seven minutes. They got away with it,” Stoudemire, who is listed at 6-11, said, referencing the 6-8 Battier. “... Opportunities like that, you’ve got to take advantage of it.
“We got to make guys play defense out there. Especially when they are undersized and guarding guys like myself and Tyson Chandler.”
Smith hit a Knicks-record 10 3-pointers and, one could argue, kept New York in the game for long stretches.
But he had more makes from beyond the arc than Stoudemire had shot attempts.
Stoudemire finished 5-for-9 with 12 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes against Miami.
The Heat outscored the Knicks in the paint 36-28. Both teams attempted 23 shots in the paint, so it's not as if the Knicks totally ignored the real estate around the basket.
But the numbers from the third quarter seem to support Stoudemire’s theory.
New York went 1-for-11 from beyond the arc in the third and was outscored 25-14. Miami was able to take control in that stanza and keep the Knicks from closing the gap in the fourth.
When told about Smith's record, Stoudemire said, "It's an NBA record? I had no idea ... if a shot's open, then take it. If a team goes small, then we have to take advantage of that."
Sunday's loss dropped the Knicks two games behind the Hawks in the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
New York has four games left on the schedule. Atlanta has six games remaining. Any combination of three Hawks wins and/or Knicks losses will clinch the playoff spot for the Hawks.
ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh contributed to this report.
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