Knicks Rumors: Where Injured Amar'e Stoudemire Fits in Rotation When He Returns

Justin WeltonAnalyst IINovember 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06:  Amare Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks adjusts his glasses as he gets set to play against the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

No team in the NBA's Eastern Conference has started off as hot as the New York Knicks. At 7-1, the Knicks hold the conference's best record.

And they're about to get even better when they add an NBA All-Star forward to their roster. Or are they going to get worse?

Sounds like a silly question, but chemistry has been a major issue since Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony joined forces in New York.

Stoudemire should be ready to go in around a month's time, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

When he returns, the question will be: Where does he fit in the rotation? Personally, I think that Stoudemire would be a great fire-starter off the bench. 

Stoudemire is an offensive player who can score in a plethora of ways. However, he is most effective in pick-and-roll situations and opportunities when he's slicing towards the rim.

The reason Anthony and Stoudemire have failed to show that consistent chemistry may be due to the fact that they have rarely played with one another as each has been battling injuries.

However, there is no denying that New York has played much better basketball when the two aren't together. So what are the options when Stoudemire returns? Minutes will be gone for some players, the rotation will be changed, but depending on the team's record when he returns, I would ease Stoudemire into the rotation off the bench. 

Don't throw him in as a starter. Don't give him 35 minutes a night. Allow him to play 20 minutes a game to see if he can develop chemistry with some of the other guys on the floor.

Maybe use Stoudemire when Anthony is on the bench. Maybe Mike Woodson can play the two together for segments of the game to see how they coexist. 

Whatever the idea may be, playing Stoudemire alongside Anthony is crucial. For this franchise to know what their future holds, they have to see if the two players' styles mesh well together. 

If it doesn't work, maybe they could work out a trade if a team is desperate and willing to take on Stoudemire's contract. I doubt that will happen, but you never know.

Stoudemire is one of the better forwards in the game, but his game is meant for a certain type of offense with a certain type of flow with certain types of teammates.

However, he is still an All-Star caliber player and New York is much better off having him on its roster regardless if he's coming off the bench or in a starting role.

One way or another, Stoudemire makes New York a more legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.