When Amare Stoudemire signed with the New York Knicks back in 2010, he claimed “the Knicks are back.” And for two years he seemed to be right. Stoudemire averaged 25 points a game in his first season with New York and the Knicks looked like they were going to be able to justify the five years, $100 million fully guaranteed deal they gave him so they didn’t strike out in arguably the best free agent class ever.
Fast forward through all of the knee surgeries and the broken fire extinguisher and you have this Amare. The Amare who can turn back the clock a couple times a game with ferocious dunks but still doesn’t play defense. Amare did something that he didn’t do for the first time in two years against the Dallas Mavericks and that was start a game. Early foul trouble hindered his opportunity to play a lot of minutes, only ending up with 20.
The problem with the Knicks has always been finding a secondary scorer to the brilliant Carmelo Anthony, and there’s no doubt Stoudemire can be that guy. Amare has always been a guy who worked so well on the pick and roll and also the pick and pop. He can shoot the 15-footer at the top of the key and not miss. I understand that he worked with Hakeem Olajuwon a couple summers ago and he “redefined” his post game, but let’s take Amare for what he is and not try to make him something he’s not.
Amare can help this team win games, so why save him with a minutes restriction? What exactly are you saving him for? The Knicks are currently six games out of a final playoff spot, so saving him doesn’t seem to be an option. And even though the Knicks lost against the Sacramento Kings, Amare played 37 minutes with 20 points, grabbed eight boards and even had two blocks. This guy can play 30 minutes a game; isn’t that what the Knicks gave him $20 million a year to do?