Reggie Evans vs. Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar’e isn’t “technically” the starter right now, but his uptick in playing time and $100 million contract puts him in this discussion. (Also, being a six-time All-Star before the age of 30 gets the 6’11” athletic freak some starter cache). Still, despite his scoring acumen and athleticism, questions abound about STAT’s health, motor, defense and his ability to mesh with a team that was successful without him.
In just 8 games this season, Amar’e has played 20.8 MPG to the tune of 10.4 points per game. He's averaged 5.4 rebounds per 36 minutes and holds a league-average 15.0 PER, both career lows; his simple rating is also -4.4, but it is just eight games.
Amar’e has been part of a myriad of five-man configurations in his 166 minutes played, with the 26 minutes spent alongside Kidd, Smith, Anthony and Chandler being the most effective. This suggests that despite talk radio chatter, STAT can in fact be the Knicks starting power forward alongside Carmelo. Time and a larger sample size will ultimately tell how Amar’e does, but with teams adjusting to the Knicks early season three-point barrage, Stoudemire’s ability to attack the rim would be a much welcome addition to the Knicks offensive arsenal.
In many ways, Reggie Evans is the anti-STAT: undersized for a power forward, offensively challenged, and a motor that knows no fatigue. Whereas Amar’e has been a STAT stuffer, outside of rebounding Evans value is almost invisible in a box score. STAT’s lowest PER of 15 is Reginald Jamaal’s highest.
But what Reggie does well, like growing a beard, Reggie does real well. His 19.6 rebounds per 48 is good enough for best in the league, and includes two 20+ rebound games in under thirty minutes in the Carlesimo era. So you overlook the fact that Reggie hasn’t cracked double digits in scoring this season, EVER, or that he shoots 54% from the charity stripe. Being really special at his specialty makes Reggie an invaluable piece of the team, but not necessarily a valuable starter.
In the end, Amar’e gets the advantage on talent alone. But Reginald wins the facial accessories battle, hands down.
Advantage: New York
Deron Williams vs. Jason Kidd | Joe Johnson vs. Iman Shumpert | Gerald Wallace vs. Carmelo Anthony | Reggie Evans vs. Amar'e Stoudemire | Brook Lopez vs. Tyson Chandler | Bench Mob vs. Knicks Bench | P.J. Carlesimo vs. Mike Woodson