The New York Knicks took care of business Friday by eliminating the gritty Boston Celtics in Game 6. Although wearing “funeral black” to Game 5 probably wasn’t the best decision, it turned out to be a minor hiccup.
This team has been clicking on both ends of the court so far. So would a return from Amar’e Stoudemire be a welcomed boom in production or a poorly-timed addition doomed to be a bust?
If the reports are accurate, Stoudemire could return sooner rather than later. But would Stoudemire’s presence be a blessing or a curse for the Knicks?
When Stoudemire laced up for New York this season, the Knicks ended up with a 16-13 record. In other words, they were vastly mediocre.
Compare that with the Knicks’ record without Stoudemire, 38-15, and his presence certainly doesn’t connote a positive outcome.
Stoudemire did post a solid 22.16 PER during the regular season, but that stat didn’t help to stave off 13 losses.
The Knicks could use the frontcourt depth against the bigs of Indiana, but the addition of Kenyon Martin has provided New York with a jolt of energy on both ends of the court. That’s especially true on defense, where Martin swatted nine shots in Round 1 against Boston.
If healthy, Stoudemire is an adequate player who can provide Mike Woodson with some bench depth. It’s difficult to argue that he fits with this team from a chemistry standpoint, though.
Stoudemire has been a shell of the player we witnessed during his stint in Phoenix. When he ran the pick-and-roll to perfection with two-time MVP Steve Nash, it was truly a thing of beauty. But those days are long gone.
Only time will tell if Stoudemire provides an appreciated spark or brings in bad juju. In either case, health is the dominating factor, and that's something that has derailed Stoudemire's career more than once.