Amar’e Stoudemire: the player who was once loved by New York. He got the Knicks going again, when he signed a max deal with them back in the summer of 2010—without him the Knicks probably would not have ever landed Melo or Chandler. The once hero of New York, is now the zero of New York; after 2 straight injury plagued seasons, STAT’s huge contract is putting the Knicks in salary cap trouble.
Fans are begging the Knicks to find a way to dump him off somehow, to get rid of the washed up star with destroyed knees. This hate, which I don’t think he deserves, makes this season a critical one for him. He has to win back the fans and contribute to a New York Knicks squad with big aspirations.
How will he fare this upcoming season?
This is how I think he will perform:
It is a well known fact that Stoudemire’s knees are not 100 percent, and probably will not be ever again. If he plays too much, he will get hurt. We saw that last year when his minute restriction was removed he got hurt soon after. It is critical for the Knicks to keep him at a 20-25 minutes limit, which means he will be coming off the bench. STAT has been open to a bench role in the past, so he probably would not mind. Last season off the bench, in 23.5 minutes a game Amar’e averaged 14.2 PPG and five rebounds a game. He also posted a very high efficiency rating and shot 53 percent. So off the bench Amar’e is still very useful and could help make the already strong Knicks bench even better. The main concern obviously still is his health. Even though he will probably be under a minutes restriction, he obviously still can get hurt. He has shown to be very injury prone throughout his whole career, even when he was with the Suns. If I were coach Woodson, I would rest him every now and then against weaker teams to keep his legs fresh.
If the Knicks have a back-to-back, if he plays up to his 25 minute limit then I would rest him the next game. Preserving Stoudemire’s health for the whole season is key if the Knicks want to contend in the East; he gives the Knicks one of the best benches in the league and he still is a scary guy to guard with his size and strength.
64 games, 24.1 MPG, 15.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 APG.
With Amar’e put under his minute restriction and given rest when needed, he will play most of the season and avoid any serious injury. Also, with less pressure to put up huge numbers since he is coming off the bench, Amar’e will have some big games off the bench. Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Andrea Bargnani will create a deadly trio off the bench.