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Stoudemire & Fields Forever
Normal 0NEW YORK (BASN) — Okay, Okay so it’s not quite the mega-hit song from the Beatles from back in Sixties: “Strawberry Fields Forever” written by the late John Lennon.
But it did have a nice ring to it especially for what the dynamic duo of superstar Amar’e Stoudemire and Landry Fields are doing.
Maybe it would have sounded better had it been, “Marbury – Fields Forever?” Okay, okay, I got the hint; we’ll stick with Stoudemire.
But for what happened this passed Sunday after a heartbreaking defeat in Philly against the 76ers, the breakout games by both Stoudemire and Fields was very timely for the Knicks who would’ve been looking at a .500 record with those same Sixers nipping at their heels for a playoff spot.
In the Knicks’ 117-103 victory over the 76ers, Fields delivered a career-high 25 points, transporting in 10 rebounds and collecting two steals. He shot 10-of-13 from the field, sinking 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
Said Coach Mike D’Antoni regarding Fields, “they were all big shots; he either stopped the bleeding or put us ahead. He’s been playing well all year, so that’s huge.”
Fields, who helped the team improve to 26-24 on the season was in high gear from the opening tip. His knowing of the game, his approach and his conditioning is unlike any other rookie this year sans maybe Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin (who was the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft but sat out due to a broken knee cap).
“Maybe Stanford teaches a course that gets him through the rookie wall,” D’Antoni said. “He’s different from a normal rookie where he has his routine every day and he stays with it. He comes in every day ready to play, that’s what eliminates the ups and downs. He plays like a 10-year veteran.”Fields, who was a 4-year senior, was the 39th pick in last year’s draft, ranks fourth among NBA rookies at 10.2 points per game — behind only the aforementioned Griffin, the Wizards’ John Wall and Sacramento King center DeMarcus Cousins and ahead of such players as 76er Evan Turner (who could not guard him on Sunday; despite him being the 2nd player picked), Wes Johnson, Derrick Favors and Xavier Henry.
His 7.2 rebounds per game trail only Griffin and Cousins among rookies.
D’Antoni is still aware that there’s much more work to be accomplished and isn’t resting on the teams laurels. “We’ve just got to keep going,” he said. “It’s a big game Wednesday. It’s a big game right after that.
So there’s no letting up. “
“We’ve got four games until the All-Star break (including Wednesday’s game against the Clippers) and then after the All-Star break everybody turns it up another notch, all the teams trying to get into the playoffs. We have to do that.“
“Our focus should be on trying to get into the 40s for wins.“
It was almost like a game of revenge for Stoudemire who was his usual MVP like self while sporting knee pads for the first time this season, blitzed the Sixers with a season high tying 41 points.
“I felt energetic,” he said, “My legs felt ready to go.
But we were all ready to go. We knew how important this was for us. I think in Philadelphia they caught us off guard with their energy and the way they played.”
“We came out tonight and retaliated.” And if one doesn’t think that he was beaming at the stat line of 76er former All-star Elton Brand better think again.
Stoudemire, who also received another technical foul by referee Bob Delaney vowed he will not get suspended, and D’Antoni stuck up for him. “I do not know how you play the game without emotion,” D’Antoni said.
“He never curses and is not overly done. If he was my son, I think he acts pretty good.” The League to the Knicks and Stoudemire’s cause rescinded the tech.
Others helped in the team’s success as point guard Ray Felton had a solid game while proving that 13 isn’t so unlucky. Felton had 13 points and 13 assists. Wilson Chandler who is at the center of the Melo trade rumors added 12 points while Danilo Gallinari and reserve guard, Toney Douglas chipped in with 10 points apiece. New starting center Timofey Movgov who fouled out late in the fourth only scored 3 points but did a nice job in the paint with 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The Knicks celebrated their annual Knicks Bowl extravaganza at Chelsea Piers. This year was the 12th such event. There were a quite a few stars on hand to help with the Garden of Dreams Foundation fundraising efforts: Actor/model Tyson Beckford, the rapper Fabulous, Jennifer Williams from Basketball Wives and actor Chazz Palminteri who’s a long time Knicks fan offered, “I’m happy with the way the Knicks are playing. There’s a lot of excitement at the Garden. But, I feel that team needs at least one more piece to make a real go at it, because the Celtics are tough.” He beamed when the name Carmelo Anthony came up. Yes, he and every other Knicks fan. Also on hand were Knicks alums: John Starks, Cal Ramsey, John Wallace and fan favorite, Walt “Clyde” Frazier.