Amar'e Stoudemire will finally play in the New York Knicks Game 3 matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
Stoudemire, who has been rehabbing from knee surgery, is expected to see a limited role in Saturday's playoff contest. Head coach Mike Woodson will use his star sparingly in order to not re-injure the leg.
But any help Stoudemire can bring to the table will benefit the Knicks. When healthy, he averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds per game, and New York could use some help against the feisty Pacers.
The Knicks could have used Stoudemire's height and presence in the post in the first two games. The size of Indiana, with Roy Hibbert, David West and even Tyler Hansbrough, has been difficult on the Knicks.
Tyson Chandler has had to absorb most of the blows down low, with Carmelo Anthony playing the power forward position. And Anthony is not going to hang around in the paint to wait for offensive rebound opportunities.
The return of Stoudemire gives the Knicks another big-man presence that they desperately need. He can take away some of the pressure from Chandler, as well as snag defensive and offensive rebounds.
He'll most likely be matched up against David West, who led the Pacers with 20 points in Game 1. Stoudemire will be able to spell Chandler and Anthony from having to defend West, which isn't an easy task.
But that isn't all.
Stoudemire also provides New York with another prolific scorer, besides Anthony and J.R. Smith. With three offensive weapons, the Knicks would be able to spread Indiana out across the floor and score from a variety of places.
Stoudemire's return will benefit the Knicks more than they know, even if he does only play 10-15 minutes.
His return brings a spark to both ends of the court, and he could be just what New York needs to claim this series.