Stoudemire content with bench role

25 February 2013 15:15

The Knicks – who have the third best winning percentage in the NBA's Eastern Conference – had lost four matches on the trot heading into a crucial match against the Philadelphia 76ers.

And Stoudemire, who had scored 22 points, was instrumental in giving the Knicks the lead.

But coach Mike Woodson decided to bench the six-time All Star for the latter stages and his replacement, Carmelo Anthony, hit 29 points and was important down the stretch in the 99-93 win.

The decision proved to be the correct one and Stoudemire said he adopts a team-first philosophy.

"I'm good with whatever the coach says, I'm there to answer the call. Whatever it takes," Stoudemire said.

"As long we kept the lead then we're good. If we start losing a bit then I'll start thinking about it but we won the game and we played well down the stretch."

Stoudemire – reportedly one of the best five paid players in the NBA – was undoubtedly New York's main man when he arrived from Phoenix in 2010.

But Anthony's arrival from Denver in 2011 and subsequent form, in combination with Stoudemire's recent injury troubles, means the former now looks to be top dog.

That is not something Anthony is admitting to, however.

"We look forward to that, Amare coming off the bench and being that spark for us offensively," Anthony said.

"On that second unit he's our go-to guy. He's the guy we're going to give the ball to and make plays and tonight he did that."

And head coach Mike Woodson believes the power forward is on his way back to his best.

"Amare was solid, catching the ball on the block," Woodson said.

"He had a couple of offensive putbacks. That was nice to see when he was around the bucket, being big like he should be.

"He made his jump shot, he did a little bit of everything, and that's what we're going to need him to do the rest of the way."

A visit from Golden State is next up for the Knicks on Wednesday.

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