Stoudemire finally starting to round into form

Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Knicks have been undersized and outmanned for most of the season, particularly in the post, so it may come as a surprise that their best option on the blocks lately has been Amar’e Stoudemire.  

The six-time All-Star forward stands 6-foot-10, but his game was always more suited to that of a perimeter player, hovering around the elbow ready to shoot the jumper. But since his return to the lineup after missing the first two months of the season due to a knee debridement procedure, Stoudemire has found himself working on the blocks more than usual. 

Perhaps it’s because of his summer workouts with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, or maybe it’s because Stoudemire is needed more than ever in the post because the Knicks are so undermanned in the size department. Center Tyson Chandler is the only other legitimate big man that is currently on the active roster, but his offensive game is limited — despite his maiden All-Star accolades this season.     

Stoudemire has taken a unique route to his current role this season, as he’s gone from a former franchise cornerstone to sixth man. But when asked if it’s bittersweet that he’s no longer the go-to guy and has seen his minutes pared down this season, he shrugs and offers a “no, not really,” because in his eyes, “it’s all about winning championships.” He offered that he’s been finishing games, which shows him that he’s still a big piece of this puzzle.  

Head coach Mike Woodson agreed and added that he certainly sees a different fire in Stoudemire this season, because at his age, 30, the window for winning that elusive ring is closing. 
 
“I just think he senses a sense of urgency in terms of the makeup of our team that we have to win now,” Woodson said. “It doesn’t matter who starts and who plays all the minutes. I always believe it’s about who finishes the game. He’s accepted his role, [which] tells me that he’s on board, he’s trying to help us win, and it doesn’t matter what the situation is. … He’s going to do whatever it takes to help us win.” 

Stoudemire has indeed taken nicely to his new role. And by doing whatever it takes to do so, he’s endeared himself to his teammates even more so than he already had.   

Since returning New Year’s Day, Stoudemire’s legs have looked fresher with each passing game, and his performances have gotten better each game, culminating with Wednesday night’s stat line of 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting. He’s averaging 16.5 points per game in his last six contests and 12.7 4.3 .553 percent from the floor in 22.3 minutes of action. If his numbers are prorated over 36 minutes, Stoudemire’s impact trails only Carmelo Anthony’s per-36 minutes averages, as he’d average 20.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.    

Numbers and stats are nice, said Stoudemire, but ultimately all he wants to talk about is who the Knicks are facing next (the Bucks) and how he’ll continue to jell with Anthony and Chandler when Woodson puts all three on the floor at the same time.
  
Stoudemire remembers the worries and whispers while he was on the mend that the trio could never play together, so he’s anxious to continue to work his way back into the mix and be a complement to the other stars.    

“I don’t really put much thought into it all, [because] I have confidence in coach Woodson to know what it takes for this team to win,” Stoudemire said of naysayers. “These guys [teammates and coaches] study the game twice as much as anybody and they understand what it takes for us to be successful. … Once the coaching staff presented me with the opportunity to better the team in a new way, I was totally open to it. Everyone has expanded their game for the betterment of the team and wanting to win, so I’m no different. We have the same common denominator of wanting to win a championship.”   

Knicks notes
 
» Jason Kidd made an appearance at Knicks’ practice on Thursday in hopes of getting some reps in before making his supposed return, Friday night against the Bucks. The 39-year-old point guard missed Wednesday’s win over the lowly Magic, but assured he’s playing at home against the surging Bucks.   

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."