Amare: Offense is 'going to pick up shortly'

Amare Stoudemire is shooting 42 percent from the floor. If the season ended Wednesday, that would be career-low for the nine-year veteran.

Of course, the season doesn't end Wednesday. Stoudemire has 53 games to turn things around.

But he doesn't plan on waiting that long.

Stoudemire said on Tuesday that his shooting is "going to pick up shortly. It just takes more practice; more repetitions."

After getting in early foul trouble and scoring just 10 points against Orlando, Stoudemire's per-game average dropped to 17.9 points, down more than five from last season. As we noted earlier this week, Stoudemire's shot selection has changed since Carmelo Anthony came to town; he's getting fewer looks inside.

Mike D'Antoni said Stoudemrie has struggled with spacing when he shares the floor with Tyson Chandler.

"I think we're trying to find a relationship between (Stoudemire) and Tyson, trying to free up some room," D'Antoni said on Sunday. "I'm not worried about his game other than we need to get it straight as soon as we can. But that's (the same for) everybody."

Stoudemire believes it's too early in the season to panic. He noted that several teams are struggling from the field, pinning the shooting problems on the five-month lockout.

Stoudemire isn't the only Knick struggling from the field. New York is making just 41.7 percent of its shots -- the fifth-worst mark in the NBA. Even worse, the team's shooting 30.9 percent from beyond the arc.

"Most teams are not really shooting the ball great," said Stoudemire, who faces his old Suns team on Wednesday. "I just think it comes with time. As we get more repetition, more games, as we watch more film in practice it will all happen for us."

Stoudemire played center last year, his first with the Knicks.

He had a tough time guarding opposing bigs every night, but flourished on offense as the primary screener on pick and rolls.

This season, he has moved to power forward. Tyson Chandler starts at center and has been the screener on most pick and rolls.

So Stoudemire isn't getting the same easy looks he enjoyed last season, when he shot 50 percent from the floor.

"I've been a screen-and-roll guy getting [easy] baskets my whole career, so it's a little bit different now," Stoudemire said. "But again, it's very early and the lockout plays a big factor."

D'Antoni said he will try to pair Stoudemire with rookie Josh Harrellson at times to give Stoudemire the opportunity to play center and work the pick and roll.

"That is something we'll do going forward. That's why Josh is so important," D'Antoni said.

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but Stoudemire reeled off eight points in the opening 4:18 of the fourth quarter on Monday, culminating with a thunderous dunk over Glen Davis that snapped an 83-83 tie. At the time, Chandler was on the bench.

He returned to the game on the next dead ball. From then on, Stoudemire didn't attempt another shot as the Magic went to a zone.

On Tuesday, Stoudemire downplayed a question about not getting any field goal attempts down the stretch against Orlando. He's confident that his shot -- and his overall offensive game -- will return shortly.

"There's no need to panic," he said. "There's going to be a lot of open shots out there once we get our pacing down and move the ball. It will all work out for us."

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