Going into next season, pundits and fans are putting the pressure target directly on Carmelo Anthony‘s back. It makes sense. He’s a star that’s never won anything. He hasn’t gotten any better since coming to New York City, and has developed a reputation as both a selfish player and a coach killer who doesn’t play defense and likes to shoot contested 20-footers after holding the ball for 4.7 seconds. Fair? Not entirely. But when you don’t win, the stories and rumors floating around you will be predictable. Then, they’ll attach themselves and suck the life out of you. With all of that being said, why isn’t anyone talking about Amar’e Stoudemire? If there’s anyone in New York who needs to step it up this year, it’s STAT. Pre Carmelo, this was Amar’e: arguably the most dynamic offensive four man in the league, someone you could count on for 24 points and nine rebounds every night, and for once, a star who didn’t shy away from the limelight in New York or get caught up getting into scuffles with paparazzi at two in the morning. But the way he fell off last season was very Vin Baker-ish in the sense that out of nowhere, he just didn’t have it. Before the microfracture surgery (which is the type of surgery that’ll affect someone’s whole career… remember, it’s normally supposed to mean future surgeries), STAT was as explosive as any power forward ever, and had a hint of Blake Griffin‘s rim-smashing anger in him. Then after the surgery, he transformed himself into a jump shooting big man who could still finish, just not quite as strongly. In New York, he finally broke through the Steve Nash shackles and gave us perhaps his best three quarters of a season he’s ever had. Then ‘Melo showed up, Stoudemire’s knees started to get iffy, and here we are. Amar’e had just one 30-point game last year. In 2010-11, Stoudemire had a run during the first half of the season with nine consecutive 30-point games. You can do that math. The good thing is he’s going to work this summer. We showed you video from his recent two-week trip to see Hakeem Olajuwon, and now the Knicks’ big man has a surprise in store. He told Fox 26 Sports in Houston he can’t wait to get the season started so he can show off all his new moves. Stoudemire believes his post game with have a new life after working with someone so agile and so knowledgeable. STAT might not be on The Dream’s level, but the two do have some similarities: both are very swift with some of the quickest feet ever seen on 6-10 players; both have a solid shooting touch; and both have pretty devastating spin moves. When Kobe trained with The Dream, he came back ready to cannibalize people in the post. Stoudemire plans to do the same … Keep reading to hear what Greg Oden is saying about next season …
Smack / Aug 14, 2012 / 11:04 pm
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