Do The New York Knicks Need Amare Stoudemire?
It almost seems like a silly question, but when you really think about how the Knicks have played this season, you have to wonder if they are better off without Amare Stoudemire. With the power forward looking to return to the team after a bulging disk in his lower back sidelined him since March 24, the Knicks have gone on an 8-4 streak and have almost punched their ticket to the NBA playoffs. It’s not that I think that Amare can spoil that, it’s just that I look at this “Big 3″ concept and see exactly how the Knicks prove that it doesn’t always work.
You see, the Knicks have been loaded with talent that functions well as individual parts. When you put them together, they just don’t work well together. Better yet, they work against each other in the worst way. It’s not ego or who wants to run the team. They simply don’t play well together. Think about this: before Carmelo Anthony showed up in New York, Stoudemire was the toast of the town. He was putting up MVP caliber numbers and the Knicks looked ready for the playoffs. Then Carmelo Anthony came to town with Lala and a reality show and the ship started sinking. Who did you blame? Carmelo or Amare? The answer was neither.
When this season started, the Knicks stumbled out of the gate to the tune of 8-15. Then both Amare and ‘Melo got sidelined and some guy named Jeremy Lin came out of nowhere to take them on a seven game winning streak. Then Amare came back and the Knicks lost. Then Carmelo joined him and the losing continued to the tune of 2-5. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Your two best players come back and you start losing all over again?
But wait, it gets better.
Once Lin and Stoudemire went down with injuries, Carmelo Anthony emerged as the player we all though he was going to be. Coincidence? Nope. The pieces just don’t work well as a unit. With Lin sidelined indefinitely, Anthony stepped up because he was already familiar with that role in Denver. Now the Knicks are inching towards the playoffs and everyone sees them as a dangerous team, what everybody isn’t talking about is how they need to trade a few shiny parts for some role players in order to think that this will ever work.
What the Knicks need is their own version of the film “Moneyball.” Instead of coughing up top dollar for stat fillers, find other ways to compliment your star players. The reality is that Carmelo Anthony is the core of New York. Everything else has to be built around him in a manner that allows him to play his game. Tyson Chandler can stay. Novak, Shumpert, Smith and Fields can also stay. Lin? Yeah, I guess he can stay. But Amare has to go. Not because he isn’t good anymore but because he doesn’t fit. And it sucks because he was carrying the load last year before the Knicks sold the farm to get ‘Melo. But due to his injuries and his slow decline, there’s no need to keep him there. He doesn’t compliment Carmelo well. It’s like wearing a plaid Polo jacket and a striped Lacoste polo shirt. They look great individually but the outfit as a whole clashes like crazy.
It’s too bad because the Knicks threw a bunch of money around and now that they have this team of talented players together, their collective stock has dropped.
The best thing that could happen to the Knicks is that he remains “injured” through the playoffs. They don’t need him, yet common sense says they should be better with him. But temper those expectations, because they are certainly better off without him in the lineup.