Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
If there is one thing that I am so very thankful for, it’s that I did not have the misfortune of becoming a Knicks fan. Don’t take that as a dig or anything, New York, if one thing is for certain about you guys, it’s that basketball fans in the Big Apple are an amazingly wonderful and passionate group of people. Maybe a little impatient from time to time, but certainly a strong fan base. The reason I wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
I don’t think I have the psychological stability to deal with it.
This season has been absolutely ridiculous for the Knicks. Coming out of the gate so painfully slow, with Amare slumping like crazy. Questions about who was going to play point guard. The answer to that question being found in the completely unforeseen bout of Linsanity. Carmelo’s return from injury and scouting catching up with Lin effectively killing Linsanity. The fir- oh, sorry, the resignation of Mike D’Antoni. The improbable resurgence under Mike Woodson. And now, just as Stoudemire was starting to hit his stride again, he goes out with injury.
Can someone explain how on Earth Knicks season tickets don’t come with a Xanax prescription?
Hit the jump for the rest of Jordan’s piece…
Amare has been diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back, and has been ruled out indefinitely. Certainly this is a huge blow for the Knicks, and has a lot of people in sports media coming out with questions like “How much trouble are the Knicks in?” and “Is this the end of the Knicks’ season?” And I’ll be real honest for you, a person who can draw a defender like Stoudemire is not a good thing to lose.
But is the Knicks’ season over? Not by a long shot.
Amare is a great player to be sure. But he isn’t exactly multi-dimensional, and this isn’t exactly his best season. His PER mark of 17.41 is his lowest in years. Same with his true shooting percentage. At the end of the day, Anthony is another ball-stopping forward on a team that already has someone in that role in Carmelo Anthony. Now true enough, if I had to pick for the team to go without one of those players, I would pick for Carmelo to be out every time, since his ball stopping is often more egregious, and Amare’s play in the pick-and-roll is a great asset to Lin.
But the fact remains that this is far from the end of the world for the Knicks, and could actually wind up being a blessing in disguise. This will likely wind up promoting better ball movement, something that if the team’s energy keeps up, could lead to very fun basketball. Amare has never been a great asset on the defensive end, so the team’s defense could actually wind up improving.
It’s a true statement that Amare has been the face of the Knicks since joining the team at the beginning of last season, but with the additions of Melo and Tyson Chandler, and the discovery of Lin, even his place as a star on the team has seemed a little bit of an afterthought this year. In short, it’s hard for me to see what Amare was providing this team that they can’t piece together elsewhere.
New York still has problems, but there are things that should bother them more than Stoudemire’s absence. Things like Milwaukee lurking two games behind them in the East standings. Things like the Chicago/Miami buzzsaw they will likely be walking into if they can’t get to the sixth seed. True enough, maybe Amare could have helped them avoid some of these fates.
But things are looking better than they have in years in New York. So with some grit and a little luck, maybe they can even do it without Amare.
Jordan Akin told you he would write something a little more positive. And you didn’t believe him. You Negative Nelly. You can ask him if he seriously just wrote Negative Nelly in a basketball blog on Twitter @jakin1013, or via email at email@example.com
Photo Credit: Mark Halmas/Icon SMI