In the absence of Tyson Chandler, the New York Knicks have been forced to play some serious small ball with Metta World Peace, Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani serving as their starting front court. This lineup leaves the Knicks disadvantaged on the glass and forces New York to give Amar’e Stoudemire increased minutes off the bench. Fortunately for New York, Stoudemire has been up to the challenge presented by his increased workload, but the Knicks should definitely be concerned with his ability to remain healthy going forward.
More importantly, the Knicks better hope that Chandler will be able to return soon, because Stoudemire’s increased minutes push him closer and closer to appearing on the injury list every game. New York would definitely regret not having a healthy Stoudemire available to them for the playoffs due to an injury he sustained playing too many minutes trying to help the Knicks salvage their disappointing season.
Stoudemire, who is an 11-year NBA veteran, has battled numerous injuries throughout his career, and his recent surge has been somewhat of a surprise. Stoudemire averages just 7.3 points per game and 3.4 rebounds on the season, but he has improved those averages to 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds over the course of his last three games, while averaging 26 minutes a game in the process.
The Knicks are in desperation mode with only six wins on the season, but they are well aware of the fact that Stoudemire has not played a full 82 games since the 2009-10 season. Stoudemire should be commended for his recent streak of stellar play during this disastrous season, but the Knicks need to closely monitor his minutes before another unfortunate injury occurs.
The Knicks should have Chandler available to play by New Year’s. Day. That means Stoudemire just has nine more games to go before the Knicks’ front court rotation is back to full strength, so New York should be able reduce Stoudemire’s minutes at that time. Until then, everyone in New York will keep their fingers crossed and hope for the best as Stoudemire excels in his expanded role.