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
Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.