New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire is on the way back to New York’s active roster in the very near future. The 100 ton elephant we see in the room is what will Amare bring to the team when he returns from his latest injury?
Since the first day of the season the NY Knicks have been waiting for STAT to return to the active roster. We have heard very little from Amare since then. A few interviews at events and rumors of his return are all we hang our hats on. The news has come out that he is closer than we think to his return to the team. Mike Woodson has done a masterful job with the handling of the players and their “buy in” mentality. He is to be commended with the Amare situation as well.
STAT off the bench or as a reserve? Questions that are being asked as we speak. Mike Woodson has my complete confidence with this one and Amare has not given any indication that he will stir up any controversy in Mike Woodson’s decision. He just wants to help this team win. At 18-5 the Knicks don’t need to mess up the formula that got them to this point.
When Amare returns is the real question, but talk around the team is sooner than later.
Jason Kidd confirmed he believes Amare Stoudemire will make his season debut in late December and said he thinks Stoudemire’s addition will be smooth.
“I think Amare is close,” Kidd said on “The Michael Kay Show” on 98.7 FM. “I think he is very close, around the corner in getting involved in playing. Maybe at the end of this month.
“I think he’ll fit in just fine. Everyone’s thinking he’s not going to fit in. He makes us deeper and bring us an interior defender and big guy who can shoot the ball and spread the ball. You don’t have to worry about that.”
In the odd chance Woodson puts Stoudemire into the starting lineup, Kidd or Ronnie Brewer would have to go to the bench, probably Brewer.
Amare, when healthy is an amazing talent to have any roster. He is big, strong and quick. When healthy, he can explode to the rim and stick the 15-18 foot jumper. He can face up the defense and with proper room, can drive to the rim and explode to the basket. The only question is what Amare will the Knicks have?
1) Amare Stoudemire’s first 30 games in 2010/11 dominated the league and was an early MVP candidate. Then as fast as it was here, it was gone. He began to slow down as Mike D’Antoni ran him into the ground and was obvious to all that he was tired. Amare had some really good games, but fatigue had already set in at that point. Then the trade changed everything. Could Amare and Melo co-exist? This is the question being asked at every water cooler in the country. In the 2010/11 playoffs, Amare hurt his back in the warm-ups against the Celtics and that was the beginning of a multitude of injuries that has brought us to this point today.
2011/12 was a disastrous year for STAT. Death in the family and injuries along with conditioning derailed his entire year. Stat had some good games scattered throughout the year, but not nearly the same as 2010′s early games. Then the infamous “fire extinguisher” incident that ruined any Knicks chances of battling the Heat in the playoffs
The New York Knicks are about to get chapter 2 of the Amare Stoudemire tenure as a Knick. What will it be?
1) Amare can help this team if the chemistry goes well and he stays healthy. His energy and explosiveness is the key to the Knicks path to greatness. If Amare can be on the receiving end of the Pick n Roll the way Tyson has been, then the Knicks are in good shape. Amare’s bread and butter is the P n R. Adding another player who can disrupt defense and put pressure on them to defend the paint while the floor is spread, will make the Knicks unstoppable offensively. This is all based on Amare being in basketball shape and healthy.
2) Defense will be the issue. Amare has had 2 coaches his entire career and the main one was D’Antoni. We all know Mike D was not a great defensive coach at any stretch of the imagination. To blame Amare for all his defensive woes is not entirely fair, but he needs to own it and get better.
We all cannot expect Amare to become a top defender as his position; however he needs to do his part and not allow his man to get by him and disrupt the defense to the point of collapse because of him. His footwork and awareness of his help defense and location of his own man are the keys to Amare being successful on D. Can Amare do this? Time will tell us all these things.
Overall, the Knicks are a very good team right now. With the return of Amare Stoudemire to this Knicks team, they have a chance to be a special team. Chemistry, hard work by Amare and team first concept will be the deciding factor in greatness and a deep run or this could cause finger pointing and a first round exit. Time will tell.
Peter A. Knickswag Chief