The ludicrous argument as to whether the Knicks are a better team without Amar’e Stoudemire should end right now. It has been a regular topic of discussion among Knicks fans and journalists here in New York that began not long after the franchise acquired Carmelo Anthony via a trade in February of 2011. That makes nearly two years that the relatively innocuous but redundant debate has carried on.
Stoudemire is no longer a thoroughbred. His days as one of the pre-eminent offensive players in basketball are done. His fragile knees are the culprits. Stoudemire will be out for at least of six weeks recovering from surgery on his right knee. Essentially, his season is over.
Excuse me for playing doctor, but no way can the 30-year-old Stoudemire come back over the next two months and provide the Knicks with a significant contribution. Maybe he will never again be an integral component of the team given his recent injury history. Regardless, Stoudemire’s absence will be felt dramatically.
It began in Oakland on Monday night, the same day he underwent surgery,–as the Knicks’ doors were blown off the hinges by the Golden State Warriors in the first game of an eight-day, five-game road trip, dropping them to 38-23.
“I feel for Amar’e because he put in a lot of work this summer to get back out on the court and what he went through at the beginning of [training] camp,” said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson at the Garden on Saturday after learning of Stoudemire’s fate. The demonstratively disappointed coach was referring to the left knee surgery that his injured power forward underwent in the fall that delayed his season debut until New Year’s Day.
The 92-63 loss signaled what will be a volatile four weeks leading up to the playoffs. The 63 points was their lowest total in six years. Without Stoudemire, an added burden falls on Anthony to shoulder an even larger offensive load as their only capable low post scorer. However, he also has knee issues, which won’t allow Anthony to do battle in the paint effectively at this time. He is seemingly worn down from regularly playing against bangers at the power forward spot.
You still think the Knicks are better without Stoudemire? Empirical evidence says you’re sadly mistaken.