There is talk that the New York Knicks could be better off without Amar’e Stoudemire. Not only is that one of the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever heard, but it is also insulting to the player who has been on the best player on the floor in Carmelo Anthony’s absence. STAT needs a knee debridement (tissue removal) that will cause him to miss the rest of the regular season.
The Knicks aren’t “better off” without Stoudemire, but that is not to say that their season is doomed either. Luckily, New York signed big man Kenyon Martin right before the trade deadline in a move that was quiet at the time, but now is incredibly important to the destiny of the team.
Martin is 35 years-old, but still has game; he brings a sense of toughness to the team that is only evident in Tyson Chandler on the defensive end, and can still score on the low post.
The question is, however, will K-Mart be able to fill Stoudemire’s role?
“He’s going to bring intensity, he’s going to play tough-minded, he’s going to be physical out there, and that’s what we need,” Chandler said on his new teammate.
But will that be enough? Stoudemire’s offensive game towers over Martin’s, but K-Mart can still defend even as he climbs up in age, which was something that Stoudemire struggled mightily to do consistently for the Knicks.
Martin had 10 points (4-6 from the field) in 22 minutes in New York’s last game, which was the most that he has played, and scored, this season in three games for the Knicks.
If Martin can do just that- play 20-25 minutes, score 10-15 points- on a nightly basis, the impact of Stoudemire’s absence will be diminished.
Who would’ve known that K-Mart would end up being such a valuable piece for the Knicks? Regardless, Martin has big shoes to fill with Stoudemire, but I believe that he can do it.