Amar’e Stoudemire: “Hakeem Helped a Lot”

Mar 7, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire (1) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

There’s more good news coming out of a slow month around the New York Knicks.

That news comes from forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who just got done working out with the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon, and the results have been positive.

“He helped me a lot,” STAT said to Houston’s FOX affiliate (via ESPN’s Jared Zwerling). “A lot of moves that he has really, really translate to my game. To now develop a post-game is going to be remarkable for me. It’s going to catch a lot of my opponents off guard and it’s going to be a great year for me.”

That is music to Knicks’ fans ears if things play out that way for Stoudemire.

You have to give Stoudemire credit for recognizing a weakness in his game and showing the willingness to correct it. Even though STAT is a six-time All-Star, there’s always room to improve one’s game, and hopefully Amar’e did exactly that.

Similar to Olajuwon, Stoudemire has great quickness and strength, so learning from him makes perfect sense.

If Stoudemire can become a force to deal with in the post, it makes the Knicks a very dangerous team. With an established front-court that features STAT, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony, the one thing missing is a guy that can score consistently on the block.

Learning to score on the block can’t be easy for Stoudemire, who has made his name scoring in pick-and-roll situations and on isolation plays. It’s going to be a different world altogether for Amar’e, so the work must continue. However the early signs are positive.

“I have the IQ to implement this and learn fast, but it’s not easy,” he said. “There’s a lot of detail that goes into it. He’s very, very swift with his footwork, and he’s very agile also at 50 still. It’s great to learn from him. This is a great opportunity because you never how long he’s going to be able to do this. So while I’m young and can still learn from one of the best, I’m very blessed to be a part of it.”

The reality of the situation is that STAT will still learn on his mid-range jumper a ton, but that’s not what coach Mike Woodson needs from him for the Knicks to contend in 2013.

The Knicks need a consistent post scorer in the worst way and if Stoudemire can provide some semblance of that this season, then the Knicks will take a huge step in the right direction.

Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.

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Topics: Amare Stoudemire, Hakeem Olajuwon, NBA, New York Knicks

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