New York Knicks: Why Raymond Felton Must Re-Ignite Amar'e Stoudemire's Career
The New York Knicks need some great play from the point guard position in order to be successful, and that job falls squarely on the shoulders of Raymond Felton.
Felton has returned to the Big Apple via a sign-and-trade, looking to fill the shoes left behind by none other than Linsanity himself, Jeremy Lin. No doubt Felton will be compared to the now-Houston Rockets point guard, all season long.
But Felton's role on this team is much bigger than that.
We all know what the Knicks will get out of Carmelo Anthony: a ton of shots and, as a result, a ton of points. Carmelo will obviously be a huge piece to the Knicks' success this upcoming season.
But to go hand in hand with needing 'Melo, the Knicks also need a great deal more from Amar'e Stoudemire.
"Stat" didn't look so great during the 2011-12 campaign, and on top of that, he battled injuries that caused him to miss 19 games in all. His overall numbers proved to be disappointing as well, with the Knicks' star power forward averaging 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Those were his lowest outputs in each category during a full season in nearly a decade.
Being that he is supposed to be New York's second scoring option, it's clear Stoudemire must give more to his team and Felton is also the key to that.
Felton has experience playing with Stat since the two teamed up briefly in the 2010-11 season, and the pairing proved to be a major success.
Before being traded, Felton averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game, both career-high numbers. Stat looked like an MVP candidate while playing alongside Felton and finished up averaging 25.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
While it was under a different coach, there's no arguing these two at least have some semblance of chemistry, and certainly more so than what Lin and Stat had.
Stoudemire's success will be based largely on the pick-and-roll play between him and Felton. Stat has made a career out of the pick-and-roll, something Felton proved to have success with when the two played together in the past.
What impact will Felton have on Stoudemire's career?
The chemistry between the two, and a little help from Hakeem Olajuwon, could go a long way in returning Stat to the player he was in 2010-11.
And if that's the case, the Knicks can look to enjoy 50-to-60 points per night combined from their two best players, leaving very little left for the rest of the team to do offensively. With the defensive additions made during the offseason, the Knicks would look like one of the more complete teams in the NBA.
But, of course, that will depend upon what Felton's return can do to help Stoudemire return to form. Stat badly needs a catalyst, and the Knicks are hoping Felton is the answer.
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