This is what New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson envisioned when he penciled in Amar'e Stoudemire on his second unit, following the forward's return from knee surgery.
A six-time All-Star, the 30-year-old Stoudemire has the unfortunate combination of a max contract and a history of knee and back problems. Limiting his workload has been the plan, but just how much Woodson can afford to limit those minutes remains a question.
If Monday night's effort against the Orlando Magic showed anything, he can certainly battle his way through a 20-minute outing:
Nice ovation for Amare as he heads to the bench. 7/7 and 14 points in 20 minutes.— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) January 31, 2013
Needless to say, the thunderous throwdown seen above proved that he's got a little something left in those knees:
OHMYGODSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) January 31, 2013
What's refreshing for Knicks fans, though, is the fact that these finishes are becoming more of regularities than anomalies. Monday night marked Stoudemire's seventh straight double-digit outing, a stretch that has shown the return of explosiveness in his knees:
Feels like STAT has more dunks this month than all of last season combined?? @adampally— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 31, 2013
Even more importantly, the 113-97 win over Orlando improved the Knicks to 28-15 on the year. Tyson Chandler led New York with 21 points, while Raymond Felton finished with 15 points and nine assists in his third game back from a fractured finger.