The Knicks are hoping to surprise some people and make a deep run in the post season. There is just one thing standing in their way. His name is Amare Stoudemire. Amare was most at fault for the Knicks struggles earlier on this season, and the same problems will likely occur in the postseason. Since Mike Woodson’s arrival Stoudmire has barely played because of his injury, and when he does return the Knicks are destined for trouble. Here’s why.
The low point of the season for the Knicks came after losing to the Bulls on March 12th. They were 18-24 which was an embarrassing record for a team of such talent. Two days after that loss D’antoni resigned, and since then the Knicks season has been revived. They’re winning a lot more under Mike Woodson and are playing with more passion and effort than they were with D’antoni. Even with the success of the Knicks under Woodson, as I look back at the first 42 games of the Knicks season I realized the Knicks struggles were even more Stoudemire’s than D’antoni’s.
Up to that point the Knicks had been a tale two teams. One team that is 10-23, and one that is 8-1.
The 10-23 team is an unexcited and unenerergized group that is stagnant on offense and plays minimal defense. This is a team with chemistry problems and with guys that just don’t play well together. This is a mix of egos, between Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and even at times Jeremy Lin.
The second team, the team that went 9-1, is a completely different story. This is a team that is very willing to share the ball, and that plays great team defense. This team features a lot of Jared Jeffries, Billy Walker, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert, and even with the lack of star power these guys work great together. These guys are easily excited and show emotion after virtually every play.
There was tons of blame going around about why the Knicks weren’t able to play to their potential (which they’re now doing). Some of the blame was on Carmelo Anthony for not passing enough and some was on D’antoni for poor coaching. Both of these men were at fault for the Knicks struggles, more D’antoni than Carmelo, which has been proved by the success the Knicks have had since D’antoni’s resignation. The real blame though should have been on Amare Stoudemire.
This aging superstar has never been a fit in New York. He was the main reason for the stagnant offense which has cursed the Knicks all season. He’s also liability on defense. Opponents intentionally target him as a guy to score on, which has been done successfully many times this year. The lack of defense and the stagnant offense he brings to the Knicks are the two things that have killed the Knicks all season. Since Stoudemire’s recent injury the Knicks have looked like a new team, just like they seemingly do every time Stoudemire isn’t playing. That’s why the Knicks made a huge mistake not trading Amare at the trade deadline, and they should trade him in the off season.
You may be asking; But who will become the team’s power forward? Jared Jeffries. Jeffries is a very unselfish passer who plays unbelievable defense and always hustles. He’s almost the very opposite of Stoudemire. You may also be asking; But you have no proof the team struggles because of Stoudemire!!? Wrong. The Knicks are 5-18 when Stoudemire shoots more than 12 times in a game, and 4-15 when Stoudemire plays more than 35 minutes. On the contrary when Jared Jeffries plays more than 20 minutes in a game the Knicks are 12-6. If the Knicks want to make a run in the postseason, they need to play Jared Jeffries and Steve Novak a lot more than Amare Stoudmire.