NBA Playoffs: How Much Trouble Are The Knicks In?


Amar'e Stoudemire

There is no doubt in my mind that Amar’e Stoudemire is the most frustrated basketball player in the entire NBA. He has battled injuries, the loss of his brother, on-court struggles, and now a hand injury that he busted open last night after New York’s loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

A little over a year ago Stoudemire left The Desert for the Concrete Jungle, ready to handle the pressure that comes with playing in New York. And Stoudemire absolutely responded. Even with the midseason addition of Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire finished the season averaging 25 ppg. But this season has been anything but fun and positive. Stoudemire hasn’t been healthy at all this season, battling back injuries almost all season. A few months ago, he lost his brother in a car accident. He hasn’t performed well on the court, in part because Stoudemire is frustrated with Anthony. Despite being a great scorer, Anthony is a ball-stopper and can’t help his team the way LeBron James can by doing other things such as rebounding, assisting and playing defense. It’s clear that Stoudemire hasn’t been comfortable since Anthony has arrived.

Another thing is age. It seems that overnight, Stoudemire has lost that explosiveness that we saw when he was with the Phoenix Suns. He doesn’t have that same swagger and ferocity that we saw in Phoenix. I understand that Stoudemire isn’t totally healthy but if I remember correctly, Stoudemire used to have a mid-range jump shot. But I haven’t seen that showcased at all this season.

After Tuesday’s loss, the Knicks are in a hole and Stoudemire is in an even bigger hole. He punched a glass case surrounding a fire extinguisher while leaving the court and suffered lacerations to his left hand. This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time, or maybe it couldn’t have come at a better time? Remember when Stoudemire was out, the Knicks started to win games and Anthony started to play at a high level. Any way you look at it, it was a total bone-head move on Stoudemire’s part.

Stoudemire will be out for Game 3 and possibly longer.

Even though the chances are slim for the Knicks to get back in this series, they still have a chance.

And so far, in these playoffs, anything is possible.

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