HOUSTON – No way will Rick Carlisle criticize backup center Amar’e Stoudemire after he missed 10 of 12 shots in Saturday’s playoff opener against the Houston Rockets.
After all, the Dallas Mavericks coach knows Stoudemire has been one of his most effective players in recent weeks. So effective that in the final 15 games of the season since a Mar. 16 encounter against Oklahoma City, Stoudemire is 67-of-118 from the field for a sizzling 57.7 percent.
Thus, Carlisle will file what happened to Stoudemire in Game 1 of this first-round playoff series against the Rockets as an aberration.
"He had some shots around the baskets that were good shots and it just didn't go in, which is going to happen,’’ Carlisle said after Monday’s practice. "The guy has been shooting an amazing percentage since he's been here.
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"Guys will have an off game once in a while. But he has to stay aggressive and we have to stay in attack mode.’’
Despite his poor shooting performance from the floor, Stoudemire did manage to finish Game 1 with 10 points -- he was 6-of-6 from the free throw line -- and five rebounds in only 16 minutes.