In a perfect world or even three years ago, the return of Amare Stoudemire would give the New York Knicks a sizable edge over the Indiana Pacers. Considering the physical style of play that the Pacers won with in the game one in their playoff series, Stoudemire’s return means that the Knicks will at least havesome talent under the net, right? Wrong.
This is not a perfect world, and the days of Stoudemire being an MVP are long gone. Also, I guarantee that he will not be the best player on the floor in another NBA game in his career. Unfortunately, the ex-Phoenix Sun is under contract with the Knicks for another three seasons and will make $23 million in 2014-15 at age 32. Injuries have derailed a once promising career, and while this article is not an obituary, it’s certainly possible that Stoudemire could get amnestied this offseason.
Head coach Mike Woodson said earlier today that the Knicks’ injured money man will play somewhere between 15-20 minutes in a crucial game three — expect some rust considering this is Stoudemire’s first in game action since March 7th.
In 29 games this regular season Stoudemire hauled in a career-low 5.0 rebounds per game, so the thought that he will punish the Pacers on the glass is a wishful one at best. Woodson has to find someway to neutralize the impact that both Roy Hibbert and David West have had thus far — the Knicks’ aging front court is anchored by Tyson Chandler, but the former defensive player of the year can only do so much.
Knicks fans have been tortured with the thought of what could be in terms of Stoudemire and Chandler combining for endless amounts of rebounds, but that pipe dream will continue to be just that until the day Stoudemire leaves town.