Amar’e Stoudmire had a struggling couple years before the 2013-14 season. With injuries piling up he was forced to miss a ton of games and never really got in rhythm.
The last few months, though, Stat made a big comeback and made us all remember why he was one of the All-Star chips of the 2010 offseason. His resurgence brought a little excitement back to the Garden and gave fans hope that he can make one last push for the New York Knicks next season.
Stoudemire is only going to be 32 years old this year, but he stated that he is possibly leaving New York and the NBA after his contract expires in 2015 to play in Israel. He is of Jewish heritage and has been invited by president Shimon Perez to go to Israel and play for the national basketball team. Whether that happens or not, Stoudemire is sure to be around next year.
Despite having made a full recovery, his playing time was never unlimited. It will likely continue this way, but if used correctly, Stat can provide some valuable 25-30 minutes of high level play per game. His numbers weren’t so flattering for the season because of this limited playing time, but in March, for example, he averaged roughly 17 points and six rebounds a game. On a team dominated by isolation plays of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, that is a lot. He was one of the surprising factors of the late playoff push the Knicks made and will probably offer the team the same kind of effort next year.
When healthy he is a truck. Pardon the comparison to Mr. Future Hall of Famer, but much like Tim Duncan his high-post plays and elbow jump shots make defenders hesitate when guarding him. Despite not being a young buck anymore, he is still athletic enough to dunk on taller defenders, catch lobs and defend the rim efficiently alongside Tyson Chandler or Cole Aldrich.
Besides all that, he is versatile enough to play power forward next to Chandler or center on small ball lineups.
If he increases his passing abilities when getting double teamed and keeps the defensive and scoring consistency he showed on the past few months, Stat can be the difference between the 52-win Knicks from the 2012-13 season and the dismal Knicks of the last one.