Amar’e Stoudemire Shut Down
The New York Knicks announced today that starting power forward Amar’e Stoudemire will be out 2-3 weeks with a ruptured popliteal cyst behind his left knee. Stoudemire returned to
New York City Sunday
morning for a follow-up MRI on his knee bruise he suffered October 10th
in practice and this injury was found.
Stoudemire had been drawing rave reviews from head coach Mike Woodson for being in tip-top shape coming into training camp and not missing a beat during two-a-day practices.
Sadly, Stoudemire is no stranger to injuries, as this just adds to a laundry list of them that has become quite extensive in his time with the Knicks. Before coming to the Knicks, Stoudemire dealt with chronic knee problems and a detached retina. Since joining the Knicks, he has developed lower back problems, the laceration of his hand in last season’s playoffs and now the knee issues.
This injury will have a huge impact on the Knicks roster. With Stoudemire going down, it is almost all but guaranteed that Chris Copeland will make the final roster. The Knicks cannot go into the season with Kurt Thomas as the only healthy power forward on the roster. Look for Henry Sims to also get a much closer look at from the Knicks, as an able bodied big man is a necessity now.
Thomas is a solid backup, but asking him to play big minutes at the 4 would be problematic for the Knicks. Look for the starting lineup to get a little shook-up, with Carmelo Anthony potentially sliding over to the 4 for the time being with Jason Kidd being inserted into the starting lineup.
The other thing that suffers is the continuity of the team. This is yet another lost off-season for Stoudemire to work on his chemistry with Anthony. They are not yet on the same page offensively and are even further behind on the defensive end, looking good only in spurts.
Because of this, if the Knicks come out strong with Anthony as the vocal point of the offense Stoudemire needs to be moved to the bench. There is no reason Mike Woodson should try and force something to work when one thing is working well. It will take a lot of guts to make such a move, but it is a move that would become a necessity if the Knicks play well without Stoudemire.
At this point, winning should be of the utmost importance for the players on the Knicks; personal statistics and glory should be put on the backburner. Stoudemire has been quoted saying that he will do whatever it takes to win and coming off the bench may be one of those things. If the Knicks are rolling with Anthony as the vocal point from the start of the games, let Stoudemire be the vocal point with the second unit and do his thing. No one likes to admit they were wrong, but it would benefit the Knicks as a whole if Stoudemire came off the bench, allowing him and Anthony to be the vocal points of the offense while the other is resting on the bench.