New York Knicks Will Have Decisions to Make When Amar'e Stoudemire Returns

By Christopher Gamble



With the New York Knicks fast start and the offense ranking second in the NBA in points per game with 103.4, one has to wonder how much of this is due to Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence.

Last season, the Knicks seemed to have a lot of trouble figuring out how to find an offensive flow between Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. That was further complicated by the emergence of Jeremy Lin during Anthony’s injury and the discontent on the court quickly spilled into the locker room, eventually forcing Coach Mike D’Antoni to resign.

This season, Coach Mike Woodson has been the recipient of a content Melo and an offense that flows through him.

The Knicks will be getting Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back in the next couple of months. Normally that would be great news. It isn’t everyday that a team in first place gets an All-Star player back from injury for the stretch run. But will Stoudemire be able to fit into this Knicks offense which is decidedly running so smoothly through Melo at the moment?

Anthony has technically been playing the four, although it has been more a hybrid four than anything. With Stoudemire back, and Anthony shifting to the three, the lane would likely get clogged between Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, two big bodies that don’t necessarily mesh together with Anthony’s game.

It isn’t likely Woodson would relegate Stoudemire to the bench upon his return, especially given the fact that Woodson has vowed to make an Anthony-Stoudemire marriage work. Stoudemire has spent a good portion of the offseason working with Hakeem Olajuwon on his back to the basket work.

There is a chance that a healthy Stoudemire could only make the Knicks better. That is, after all, why they signed him as a free agent. Until then, there will be plenty of time for Woodson to figure out a way to make the lineup work with Stoudemire in it.

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