Amar’e the Dream just doesn’t have the right ring to it, but if he can learn some of Hakeem’s moves it won’t matter.
Amar’e Stoudemire will be joining the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Dwight Howard as players who have trained with Hakeem Olajuwon in his summer camp. The camp has been known to have a dramatic effect on a players post play, which is something that STAT has lacked in his game.
Mike Woodson spoke after the season about a few ways he wanted his players to improve during the offseason. He thought that Carmelo Anthony could slim down, which resulted in Anthony heading into the olympics 12 pounds lighter than he ended the season at. Woodson’s other request was that he wanted to use Amar’e more in the post next season, and he subsequently set up a training camp with Olajuwon.
Stoudemire had a far less productive season last year than in 2010. His scoring dropped form 25.3 ppg to 17.5 ppg, his field goal percentage dropped from 50% to 48%, and his rebounding decreased as well. STAT had a few excuses including the death of his brother and the bulging disk in his back, but critics accused him of losing athleticism and the season marking the beginning of his decline.
The hope is that by learning from one of the best post players ever to play the game Amar’e will be able to implicate his new skills into the Knicks’ offense. Besides ‘Melo, the Knicks have no powerful post threat on the team, and that makes the offense much easier to defend. With the addition of STAT in the post it will create a new look on the court, and allow him to pass out of the double team to the open perimeter players.
The Olajuwon Camp has created two of the best post games in the league: Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Both players won championships after working with Olajuwon. Dwight Howard solidified his place as the most dominant big man in the league after his time at the camp.
Stoudemire is also working with Olajuwon in order to improve defensively, which is something that can help the already improved defensive Knicks. Defensive Player of The Year Tyson Chandler with a new and improved Amar’e Stoudemire would be hard to defend and score on, and if you include Marcus Camby on the bench then you are looking at a more than capable front line rotation.
The bottom line is that we can expect a much greater Amar’e next season, and a much greater Stoudemire is the key to a much greater Knicks team.