After a rough January for the Knicks, they’re back to playing stellar basketball going 8-3 in their last 11 contests, but there still is work to be done. With all the major pieces in the rotation (Carmelo, Amar’e, Chandler, etc.), the Knicks need to look to add a final piece to their supporting cast of role players.
The Knicks have been very dominating this season. It’s second and fourth in the Eastern Conference in points scored and allowed per game, respectively. However, they have a more jarring issue on the other side of the ball.
Crashing the boards should come easy to a Knicks team that bolsters two Olympians (Melo/Chandler) and fresh legs in the frontcourt (Amar’e, Copeland). There should be no reason that the team is placed 23rd in the league in rebounding per game. Especially when three teams that are all playoff hopefuls (Chicago, Indiana, Brooklyn) are all significantly better at crashing the boards.
Changes need to be made and there needs to be more support on the offensive glass.
This is where Lou Amundson becomes so valuable in a role player position for the Knicks to make a lengthy playoff run.
ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson reported on Feb. 1 that both the Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers were interested in bringing in Amundson.
The Timberwolves released Amundson on Friday afternoon to resign Michael Gelabale and Chris Johnson for the remainder of the season.
This makes Amundson valuable for a playoff stretch since he won’t be looking for much money but could guarantee a spot on the roster with improved play and added help to the rebounding woes of the Knicks.
At first, there isn’t a grand expectation for Amundson to come off the bench and light it up nightly. The 30-year-old is only averaging 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game during his six-year career in the NBA. Although his numbers look dainty, there is a hidden power within Amundson that usually goes unnoticed.
Amundson averaged 12.9 minutes a game, including a five-year low 8.1 minutes a game this season in Minnesota. But when looking at his stats per 36 minutes played, his numbers increase but leaps and bounds.
Lou averages a double-double per 36 minutes played in his career, with 10.6 points and 10.1 rebounds a contest in that time frame. That could be the difference maker for the Knicks.
The 6-foot-9 Amundson brings versatility into the frontcourt and can play the center or the power forward position at will, giving the Knicks all the flexibility they need in their rotation. In the absence of Rasheed Wallace, the age of Marcus Camby, and the future of the Knicks in the second half of the season, Amundson could be the defensive rock that Coach Mike Woodson needs.
Why not run away with a steal on a player who can improve the overall rebounding effort of the team. Losing on the boards is an easy way to lose a basketball game. With all the talent in the Knicks camp, Amundson could be the recipe to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.