How NY Knicks' Chris Copeland Can Replace Amar'e Stoudemire Long-Term

Andrew BurtonCorrespondent IIINovember 24, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18:  Chris Copeland #14 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on November 18, 2012 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. The Knicks defeated the Pacers 88-76.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Chris Copeland has barely been on the court this early in the season—however, he's seen it more than Amar'e Stoudemire has in 2012.

In the long run, Chris Copeland could potentially be viewed as the power forward of the future, and perhaps Amar'e might be coming off the bench to fulfill the final years of his contract.

But why would anyone in their right mind favor Copeland over an All-Star power forward?

Well, the first thing Chris has going for him is a healthy track record.

He spent the past five years playing in Europe, and over those five years he's never had a significant injury.

On the other hand, Amar'e misses games like it's a ritual.

Seriously—in his 10 years in the NBA, he's only played a full season three times.

The reasons for keeping him out vary from back injuries to those pestered knees of his.

What good is an All-Star if he's on the decline because of injury?

Copeland can step in and provide a pair of fresh legs willing to run the court—something we haven't said about Amar'e since he's been in New York.

Also, with the right coaching—which Copeland has in Mike Woodson—the 28-year-old rookie could reach his peak and achieve an end result similar to Amar'e's output in points and rebounds.

During the preseason, Chris Copeland was averaging 15.5 points per game on 53 percent shooting—all in just 21.5 minutes of play per game. He showcased an outside shot during preseason, and he excelled in the pick-and-roll.  

In Amar'e's rookie season, he averaged 13.5 points per game on 47 percent shooting, and the pick-and-roll eventually became his bread and butter. 

They're more similar than many people think.

See how Copeland could be a filler for Stoudemire? 

The rookie needs to work on his defense—so does Amar'e. 

But overall, he's a power forward that can put the ball through the basket—in 3.4 minutes played per game, Copeland averaged 2.6 points, but his per-36-minute average is 27 points. 

Oh yeah, and he's salary-friendly for the time being.

Copeland is making a mere $474,000, while Stoudemire's 2012 pay is just under $20 million.

Just last night—in the beating that the Houston Rockets handed the Knicks—Copeland saw the court for the most time he's had in the season: eight minutes. However, in those eight minutes, the power forward scored six points on 50 percent shooting.

With Amar'e still out for a few more weeks, Rasheed Wallace listed as day-to-day and Marcus Camby still seeing little court time, Copeland could get his chance soon to increase his role with the team. 

His little time on the court is an attempt to spark a Copeland frenzy, and while it hasn't caught yet, the time could come...Just ask Jeremy Lin.