But a window into how it could work was possible, thanks to Rasheed Wallace’s usage against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
Wallace played 18 minutes, took six shots, grabbed six rebounds. He was the first big to enter off the bench, and the second player to enter, after J.R. Smith.
But what was most interesting was seeing Wallacee play most of the second quarter alongside either Tyson Chandler or Marcus Camby. This was a first for the season; Wallace had been backing up Chandler, not playing the four next to him. And Camby hadn’t played until Friday night.
Wallace has been a high-usage player as a Knick so far, and to make Stoudemire happy in anything other than a starting role, he’d need to be, too. But it isn’t hard to imagine a second unit succeeding with Stoudemire as the interior offensive option, Novak as the three-point safety valve, Smith creating on the perimeter fed by Prigioni, and Camby defending the paint since Stoudemire, well, doesn’t all that well.
Where that leaves Wallace is another story, but depending on him to play huge minutes was never the plan. And it isn’t going to make sense not to take advantage of Stoudemire’s ample offensive gifts, if he is healthy.
Just worth thinking about Wallace as a potential stalking horse for Stoudemire usage moving forward. And to be sure, the early returns suggest that’s quite a useful fill-in option, indeed.