Last night may not have been the most important game on the New York Knicks schedule but it had significant long-term implications. The Knicks finished up a road trip and arrived back at Madison Square Garden with an impressive record of 21-9. However exciting and successful their season has been to this point, everything changed last night with the return of Amar’e Stoudemire. Knicks fans and fantasy basketball owners alike have been apprehensive about the marquee player’s arrival, which has been playfully deemed by some as the only Christmas present that they’d like to return.
The impact of Stoudemire’s return will certainly be met with change by the Knicks and for fantasy owners. New York looked out of sorts last night in a 105-100 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite playing only 17 minutes, Stoudemire’s presence sparked major changes in the Knicks offense.
Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith led the scoring for New York and appeared to be the only players that looked comfortable on the court. Many players appeared to be deferring to Anthony or Smith and seemed cautious with the ball. Depending on how things move forward, we may be able to chalk it up to a bad shooting night. However, we cannot overlook the past results of Knicks shortcomings when all their stars have been healthy at the same time.
If last night was any indication of what to expect from the Knicks, then we would have to downgrade Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak and Chris Copeland from a fantasy perspective. Knicks fans and fantasy owners who have these players will have to hold their breathe through the next several games to see how the situation plays out.