When the New York Knicks face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, it looks as if Amar'e Stoudemire will be in action. ESPN's Ian Begley tweeted this after seeing Stoudemire at practice on Friday afternoon.
Amar'e Stoudemire is practicing today. Looks like he'll play tomorrow. #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 20, 2013
After Stoudemire missed Wednesday's 107-101 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, concerns about injury have started to creep into the minds of fans. Stoudemire took to Twitter himself on Dec. 17 to ease some of those concerns.
Having Amar'e back in the lineup is somewhat good news, but it obviously doesn't solve all the Knicks' problems. Consistency has still eluded them over the past week. The Knicks have alternated wins and losses and have yet to take advantage of playing in the woeful Eastern Conference.
Despite a record of 8-17, the Knicks are only two games behind the Toronto Raptors for the eighth playoff spot. If New York were in the Western Conference, it would be 6.5 games out of the last playoff spot.
Offense is the Knicks biggest issue and Stoudemire's specialty, though he is scoring just 7.7 points per game this season. New York is 25th in the league in scoring, despite—or perhaps because of—the presence of the league's second-leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony.
Will the Knicks make the playoffs?
Melo is averaging 26.4 points per game, but the next closest Knick is Andrea Bargnani at 14.8. Stoudemire has yet to start a game this season, but perhaps that strategy is worth a try. Bargnani's presence on the floor was supposed to create spacing, but because his three-point percentage is just .296, the team isn't seeing the results it hoped for.
The thought has always been, Amar'e and Melo don't play well when both players are starters, but based on the the first 25 games of the season, New York isn't doing well with their current lineups.
Fans longing to see S.T.A.T return as a starter will have to wait. Knicks nation can only hope some future development will help to turn things around for the team moving forward.
Oddly enough, the playoffs are still well in their reach.
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