Prior to yesterday’s 113-84 blowout victory over Utah, the Knicks announced that oft-injured forward Amar’e Stoudemire will be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with right knee problems. Before the season started, Stoudemire underwent a left knee debridement, dead tissue that needs to be removed, which caused him to miss the first two months of the season. Now, the same issue has arisen in his right knee and again he must be operated on.
Having overcome a plethora of injuries throughout his 11 year career, this is nothing new for Stoudemire. He’s worked hard during his tenure with the Knicks to overcome this kind of adversity and he will work hard again to get back in time to help contribute to the team’s playoff cause. Nonetheless, this injury is truly a tragic one for Stoudemire. The Knicks starting the year 18-5 with Carmelo Anthony at power forward made it near impossible for Stoudemire to return in January as a starter. The consumate team player, Stoudemire accepted his role as a 23 minute a game role player off the bench. A move of this ilk is not an easy one for an NBA superstar, of which Stoudemire certainly has been throughout his career. Look no further than the Pau Gasol situation with the Lakers this season as an example of how superstars usually react to a bench demotion. Not only did Stoudemire handle this move to the bench with professionalism and class, but he was having a bounce-back season. Behind a more refined offensive game, thanks to some summer tutelage from Hakeem Olajuwon, Stoudemire was scoring as efficiently as ever. Continue reading
At 19-6, the New York Knicks have been just fine this year without Amar’e Stoudemire. New York runs the second most efficient offense in the NBA, scoring 110.5 points per 100 possessions. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a clear role or a need for Stoudemire in the Knicks offense. The monkey in the room looming over New York’s dream season has been the issue of whether the Knicks $100 million big man would accept a role coming off the bench. Over the past few weeks, Stoudemire has indicated that he would be accepting to come off the bench. Mike Woodson has indicated he will bring Stoudemire along slowly in terms of minutes played. All signs point to Stoudemire as a bench player, which is a really good sign for the Knicks.
In today’s NBA where player athleticism allows defenders to cover ground quicker than ever before, offensive spacing has become increasingly important. Teams are getting smaller and smaller with lineups, featuring more “stretch fours” (power forwards that can shoot and stretch the floor) than ever. The Knicks are no different. It is no secret that Carmelo Anthony is far more productive as a power forward, and has excelled to arguably an MVP caliber of play in New York’s wide open attack. New York employs a “four out” offensive system, based around four shooters and a big man setting pick and rolls. Continue reading
Sigh… Coming off a strong pre-season performance against Toronto, there was optimism around Amar’e Stoudemire and his impact on these 2012-2013 Knicks. That optimism will be tested once more as Stoudemire will again miss time with yet another injury. It turns out than an MRI on Stoudemire’s “bruised knee” shows that the $100 million Knick has a ruptured popliteal cyst in his knee. Here is the 411 on a Baker’s cyst from MayoClinic.com:
A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you’re active.
A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-LIT-e-ul) cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker’s cyst.
Although a Baker’s cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.
So this sounds pretty bad to me. The Knicks, being the honest, competent training staff that they are, say Stoudemire will be out 2-3 weeks. More realistically, I think we could see Stoudemire miss far more time than that, especially if he has a cartilage tear. Make no mistake, this is not a good thing for the Knicks. Continue reading
Earlier this summer, Amar’e Stoudemire paid a hefty price (approximately $50k) to work on his previously non-existent post game with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Given the history of Stoudemire’s offensive game, devastation as a roll man with a tint of mid-range shooting, there has been almost unanimous sentiment among the the basketball community that Stoudemire’s post game won’t be used much in games. I too felt the same way, until I looked deeper into the matter.
It isn’t that Amar’e is going to become a post up player. He’s not. That has never been his game, and likely won’t ever be the base of his offensive repertoire. However, that doesn’t mean Stoudemire’s post work this offseason can’t help his game. After analyzing Mike Woodson’s offense, I think there will be opportunities for Stoudemire to score in a post up game and in that area of the floor. We know that Woodson’s history indicates that he run a slower, more isolation based type offense. Unlike Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the pick and roll has never been a staple of the Woodson offense. That doesn’t mean pick and rolls will be eliminated, but we’ll likely see less of them next season. That means Amar’e Stoudemire will have to find other ways to score, because he won’t be rolling to the basket every third possession. Continue reading
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The 2011-2012 NBA season was an utter disaster for Amar’e Stoudemire. Whether it was on the court or off the court, the Knicks $100 million man could not seem to catch a break. Between the chronic back injuries, the death of his older brother, his sub-par performance on the court or his karate chopping of a fire extinguisher, nothing went right for Stoudemire in 2011. Across the board, his statistics fell to their lowest figures since the 2004-2005 season (I am discounting the 2005-2006 season in which Stoudemire played 3 games). Stoudemire averaged just 17.5 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season, and shot just 48.3%, his third lowest percentage of his career. More frightening than those statistics were the fact that Stoudemire averaged a career low 7.9 rebounds per game. However, I believe 2012 will be different for the Knick power forward and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading
There were 54.5 seconds left in the game. New York cradled a delicate 87-84 lead over the powerhouse Heat. Down 3-0 in the series, this was do-or-die time for the Knicks defense. Miami ran a high pick and roll between Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Bosh did well to quickly slip screen into the paint while both Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were focused on Wade. The much maligned Amar’e Stoudemire made an awesome defensive rotation to push Bosh out to the baseline, where he then threw the ball into a back court for a turnover. Carmelo Anthony was fouled from three point land on the next possession and the rest is history. In this post, I am going to analyze how Stoudemire made the defensive play of the game for the Knicks. Continue reading
And for those awaiting a recap from last night, I will have one at some point today. I’m battling a bad case of food poisoning, so be patient with me please!