Amare Stoudemire has not played for the New York Knicks this season. Depending on your outlook, it's either a good thing that he is coming back and can help the team continue their success, or it's a bad thing because he could derail their chemistry. No matter, what side you land on, Stoudemire is a proven player in the NBA, he's an All-Star, and he is getting close to returning to the Knicks lineup.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Stoudemire practiced yesterday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He spoke with reporters and said when he does return he is willing to play any role the team needs him to play. Including coming off the bench if necessary.
"You guys know me, ever since I've been here I've been all about winning and been a total team player," Stoudemire said. "Whatever it takes to win, that's the goal."Stoudemire underwent knee surgery on November 1st and has missed the entire season so far. Yesterday's practice was a step in the right direction. He will have to prove his knee is ready and that he is in game shape before he will be cleared to play by the coaching staff. However, coach Mike Woodson did not rule out the possibility of Stoudemire returning this weekend. He wouldn't offer specifics about the exact date of Stoudemire's return, but this weekend is not completely out of the question.
Stoudemire has averaged 21.6 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game in his career. This will be his third season in New York after spending most of his career in Phoenix with the Suns. Stoudemire has always been known as force down low and a guy who could step out and shoot. Yet, he and the rest of the Knicks team have not meshed well.
When both Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are on the court together, the Knicks seem to struggle. They will have to work this out to continue their success. New York is 18-6 and has the best record in the Eastern Conference. They don't want to take their foot off the gas.