After another offseason filled with knee problems, New York Knicks’ forward Amar’e Stoudemire appears ready to go to start off the 2013-14 season.
Stoudemire made his return to the Knicks lineup for their final preseason game on Friday and looked decent, scoring six points 12 minutes of action.
However while STAT looks to be back for now, you have to wonder exactly how much the veteran will be able to help this team.
The smart answer appears to be not a lot.
Judging by past history, you have to wonder exactly how many games Stoudemire will be able to play this season. Knee problems alone should make you proceed with caution in terms of how much impact Stoudemire will have.
Then there is the fact that when he will be in uniform, Stoudemire will be on a minutes restriction.
That alone hurts him. STAT will have some impact in terms of scoring, but Mike Woodson won’t use him in close games late, due to being a defensive liability, so similar to last season, I wouldn’t count on Stoudemire making a fourth quarter impact in most games.
Then there are Woodson’s latest comments that he is considering alternating Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin every other game as the backup power forward. If that is the case, it may help keep STAT healthy, but as we have seen in the past, limiting his minutes or resting Stoudemire doesn’t exactly help keep him healthy either.
No one would like to see STAT return to dominant form more than myself, however I have a hard time seeing him make a big impact this season.
The opportunities just may not be there for him to do so.
I would expect him to see about 15-18 minutes per game when he does play and hopefully approach double figures in scoring maybe grabbing a handful of rebounds along the way.
It’s nice to see Stoudemire back in blue-and-orange, but a return to dominance? I wouldn’t count on it.
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