When the New York Knicks signed veteran forward Kenyon Martin to replace the void left by injuries to Rasheed Wallace and Amare Stoudemire, many wondered what Martin would be able to seriously contribute to the team. As of late, Martin has proved to be a solid addition to an ailing Knicks team desperate for front court production.
Martin’s overall statistics are about what you would expect from a 35-year old power forward in his twelfth NBA season; 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in about 23 minutes over 11 games so far. But Martin’s true value to the Knicks has been evident over the last six games, where Martin has been a starter. K-Mart — as he has been known over his career — is averaging 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, one block and is shooting .673 from the field, giving the Knicks some scoring in the paint to compliment their heavy perimeter game.
Over the last two games Martin has played his best basketball so far, with games of 19 points and 11 rebounds followed by 18 points and seven rebounds, both against the Toronto Raptors. Even more important, the Knicks have won four straight after dropping their previous four games. It’s a wonder that Martin was a free agent this long.
At Martin’s age it’s doubtful he will be able to sustain such a high level of play for too long, but the Knicks will take whatever the aggressive veteran can contribute until their other post players can return. Until then the Knicks will continue to rely on Martin’s energy to help them get through the rest of the regular season.