The Knicks started as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They haven't fallen off all that much since, and they've been doing it without superstar Amare Stoudemire. The Knicks are currently 11-4, but they could get better if Amar'e Stoudemire returns soon. He is planning on a Christmas return, just in time for a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Jordan Zwerling of ESPN New York, Stoudemire was able to do some running and shooting drills in practice which seems to support earlier reports by the New York Post that he would return by Christmas. Stoudemire's knee seems to be holding up nicely after experiencing setbacks early on.
"We're going to accept Amar'e back when he's ready to go, and when that is, I don't know. I really don't," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said after shootaround. "That's a great sign he's out running and he's shooting a little bit. We're just going to gauge it as he goes along, and doctors and Amar'e will tell us when he's ready."Stoudemire had left knee debridement surgery in the offseason. He was supposed to be out six-to-eight weeks, but has suffered some minor setbacks. His return in late December will come with some trepidation for New York fans no doubt.
The Knicks, for a long time now, seems to play better when Stoudemire is not on the floor. Whether this is simply coincidence or if there is some real reason behind this is unknown. When Stoudemire returns, Knicks fans have to be concerned about it throwing off the team's hot start. However, it's hard to thumb your nose at a superstar, six-time All-Star.