5 Ways Amar'e Stoudemire Will Impact the Knicks When Healthy
According to the Newsday, New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire will likely return to the courts as the new year arrives after missing the entire season due to a left knee injury. For New York fans, though, that isn't necessarily a good thing.
You see, the Knicks are 20-7 and playing superb basketball for the first time in a long time. Some see Stoudemire as a potential disturbance to the great start, but in reality, the rich are getting richer.
Stoudemire has consistently been one of the best power forwards in the league, and his experience makes him even more valuable. He also happens to fix the very limited problems the Knicks have been having.
Everything is going well, but Knicks fans shouldn't be afraid of change. There is plenty Stoudemire will do for this team, and they will somehow be even more dangerous with him than they are now.
Leadership has been one of the main reasons the Knicks have been so successful thus far this season. The locker room is filled with leaders such as Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd.
One more leader is only going to allow for more control of the tempo and pace on the court. Stoudemire has been with the team longer than anyone else on the roster, and is also a vocal leader. His screams of "AND ONE" will motivate his teammates, and his high energy and dunks will boost the team and the crowd.
Mike Woodson has done a superb job of balancing personalities in the locker room, so Stoudemire will only be a positive force.
2. Bench Depth
The second team, as of now, has largely been dominated by the play of J.R. Smith, combined with contribution from other role players. With Stat, though, the unit will have two very legitimate offensive threats as well as two leaders.
Besides adding pure depth, Stoudemire can replace both Chandler and Melo, which allows the team to alternate between smaller and bigger lineups, depending on the opponent.
3. Interior Presence
The Knicks have had enormous success overall this season, but a lot of the team's struggles have come at the hands of larger teams.
With Stoudemire, though, the Knicks will be able to change their lineup according to who they are playing. Right now, Chandler finishes alley-oops and Melo drives, but the team's offense comes mainly from outside shots and guard play.
Stoudemire allows the team to feed the ball inside, and he was already a capable finisher at the basket before working with Hakeem Olajuwon during the offseason. The Knicks often lack in size, and Stoudemire allows the team to be dangerous all over the floor.
4. Mid-Range Jumpers
Through 27 games, the Knicks have taken more three-point shots than other team in the league. Granted, they have made more of those shots than anyone else too, but offensive variety is key to keeping defenses off guard.
Stoudemire's mid-range jumper was less effective last season than it was in the past, but he is still one of the better shooting power forwards in the league. His jumper will draw defenses to open up room for penetration across the board and allow Chandler to take advantage of his size.
5. Cohesion with Melo
This is the No. 1 thing New York fans are worried about. The Knicks have yet to show convincing offense with both players on the floor, but that is due to limited sample size.
Stoudemire has worked on his post-moves during his time off, and that will pay off as it has with every other player Olajuwon has worked with. Stoudemire will use his capacity to finish inside to draw big men, which will allow Melo to take his signature mid-range shots.
When Melo wants to drive, though, Stoudemire can use his jumper to pull defenders out. The two players have complementing skillsets, and that will pay huge dividends for the Knicks who seemingly can't stop getting richer.