For about a year and a half now, Knicks fans have been hearing “STAT and Melo just need a chance to mesh!” That statement, of course refers to the teams two best players, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, and how poorly they’ve looked together to this point in time.
What’s that? You ask how poorly have they been together? The Knicks are a combined 31-40 (regular and post season) when the two are in the lineup, and there’s no question that they don’t seem to compliment each other well, at all.
We saw Stoudemire look great as the main option in New York, averaging over 26 points per game in the first half of the 2010-2011 season. He’s averaged just over 18 points per game since Anthony’s arrival. Whether it’s because he’s dealt with a number of injuries, doesn’t get as many touches now that he has such a tremendous scorer in Anthony, as well as a perimeter presence in Tyson Chandler playing next to him, or he just hasn’t built enough chemistry with Anthony, the proof has been in the pudding.
All along, Knicks fans have been assured that Anthony and Stoudemire needed a full offseason, training camp and preseason to be able to fully get comfortable with each other, and with this summer being the first opportunity, it doesn’t quite seem Knicks fans have gotten all that they bargained for.
Stoudemire missed the majority of the preseason with a knee-injury that was rumored to keep him out for maybe the first week of the season, but now the New York Daily News is reporting that he’ll be seeking a second opinion, and could possibly be out an extra month (at least).
Contrarian Knicks fans will rejoice as they feel the team is better off with less Stoudemire and more Anthony playing the power forward, but this has to be another low point for a fanbase waiting desperately on the edge of their seat for their team to legitimately return to relevancy. I’m sorry, but sneaking into the playoffs the last two seasons and only managing one win isn’t quite being relevant.
And while a ton of fans were pretty upset that their favorite player from last season’s team, Jeremy Lin, wasn’t brought back, the Knicks didn’t have a terrible offseason. They brought in not one, but two very heady point guards to help orchestrate an offense that looked stale to say the least at times last season. They also upgraded from Jared Jeffries, and Josh Harrellson to Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas. With big name players with very productive track records, the main concern heading into the season was that their players stayed healthy.
And so far they haven’t.
While Iman Shumpert tore up his knee during the Knicks miserable playoff outing last Spring, Stoudemire is now hurt, Camby’s missed considerable time with a calf injury, J.R. Smith will most likely miss the beginning of the season and most recently, Chandler banged his knee and suffered a bone bruise.
It was a Knicks fan’s worst nightmare the past two seasons watching Anthony play with limited talent around him, and it seems their worst fears could become reality again heading into this season.
Will this be another season where Stoudemire is playing catch-up and struggling to fit in? Will the experience that the two Knicks stars had before Stoudemire got injured be enough to carry them through the season? Or will this be another season full of could’ve, would’ve, should’ve’s and wait til next season?
The odds don’t seem to be in the Knicks favor.
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