As if the New York Knicks needed any more help, veteran power forward Amar'e Stoudemire will finally make his season debut Tuesday night.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski had the news:
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire will make his season debut on Tuesday against Portland, league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 1, 2013
Despite missing Stoudemire and defensive stalwart Iman Shumpert for the start of the season—and even Carmelo Anthony for several games—Mike Woodson's squad has jumped out to an impressive 21-9 record, which puts it comfortably atop the Atlantic Division.
Adding Stoudemire, who returns after being sidelined for several months with a left knee injury, to a team that currently has one of the best records in the NBA has to be a little frightening for the rest of the league.
At 30 years of age, STAT isn't exactly what he used to be, but he's still a very useful player. Even in what was seen as a monumental down year last season, he averaged 17.5 points on 48.3 percent shooting to go along with 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 block per game.
Again, those certainly aren't overwhelming numbers by Amar'e's standards, but his size, athleticism, prowess in the pick-and-roll and ability to rebound are all things that most teams would welcome with open arms.
Yet, the Knicks, a team already having immense success, is the one that has him.
Of course, there's always the problem of team chemistry and rotation patterns when a player returns to an already excelling group, but Stoudemire has already made it clear that he is willing to come off the pine, if that's what's best. Via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:
“Whatever it takes to win,” Stoudemire said, a refrain he used more than once. “You guys [media] know me. Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been all about winning and been a total team player. So whatever it takes to win, that’s the goal.”
Even if it takes coming off the bench.
“I’m totally open to it,” he said. “I’ve been here for three years now. You should know how much of a team player I am. In Phoenix … it was a team-oriented game and the same applies here in New York.”
That's one of the main things New York lacks.
Rasheed Wallace and Steve Novak have provided solid depth, but they are face-up bigs who don't do a lot of work inside the key.
Kurt Thomas has cracked the rotation, as has Marcus Camby, but neither provides the dynamic possibilities that Stoudemire could off the bench for the Knicks.
In this situation, the rich get richer.