Amar’e steps up to help Knicks to fourth win in five games

Josh Newman

One silver lining during what has been a dreadful start for the Knicks is that while they have played poorly, it’s not like anyone else is running away with the Atlantic Division.

Now, having won three straight and four out of five following a 102-92 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday evening at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks have momentum on their side, not to mention a favorable schedule.

The Knicks will play 10 of their next 14 games at the Garden, including seven in a row from Jan. 17 to Feb. 1. Of those 14 games, 10 of them will come against teams that are currently at .500 or worse.

It may have been a poor start, but this upcoming stretch is a big opportunity to get right back in the mix in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference playoff race. The Knicks are currently 4.5 games behind the first-place Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division and one game behind the Nets for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

“To win four out of five is very, very big for us and having a three-game winning streak, so the confidence right now is definitely rising, but we have to continue to play well, continue this momentum and keep going,” Amar’e Stoudemire said after registering one of his best games of the season with 12 points, 11 rebounds and strong defense throughout the second half. “We haven’t been playing great at home as of late, but I think we’re starting to gain that momentum a little bit more and get the confidence back at home. That being said, with these games we have coming at home, it’s gonna be big for us.”

Stoudemire has gotten consistent minutes and touches lately, but now the Knicks need consistent production from a player who is owed approximately $45 million between this season and next season. The 11 rebounds were a season-high and the first time he has grabbed more than nine in a game this season, while the 12 points marked the fifth time he has scored at least 11 in the last eight games.

For all of Stoudemire’s injury woes, he has stayed pretty healthy this season. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson opted to use kid gloves early on, specifically not using the 12th-year pro on the second end of back-to-backs. That tactic appears to have worked as Stoudemire has only missed two games since Nov. 23.

“STAT was great for us, this is the first time we’ve played STAT probably in a long time down the stretch,” Woodson said. “He basically, defensively, was doing what we asked of him. He really helped us bug time offensively, rebounding the basketball. We’re gonna need STAT to do that and I think he’s capable of doing it.”

22 comments
runtmc
runtmc

Wow! That win earned us a piece from the SNY Nets 'field reporter.'

Master and Ruler
Master and Ruler

The team always was going to live and die with Amare. Melo needs him.

And I TOLD YOU SO!

zdiddy4nyk
zdiddy4nyk

I keep telling people, if Melo had a PG like Westbrook...he would be way more efficient scoring the ball.  Look at OKC without Westbrook.  Durant is now taking many more shots and has not been as efficient.


Scorers are more dangerous with a great PG.  Add Melo to CP3 and look out...

brookdon
brookdon

OT but after this OKC loss, Thunder will be .500 with Russell Westbrook. OKC fans already calling for Brooks's head.

and1buckets
and1buckets

Knicks played a solid game against the defending chumps. Good defensive game and scored 102pts without lame-azz J.R fouling things up on both sides of the court.

dagawd
dagawd

Knicks will go to the east finals


They have a 3 headed monster


MelO

AmaE

Bargs

Max Denby
Max Denby

Sandra? Oooooh Sandra? Where are u this fine evening?

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

i kind of want Amare to retire a Knick now lol i guess thats the Love/Hate thing going on

He's a threat in the paint now only when his contract is up he'll sign for Vet Min lol 

Isaac Miller
Isaac Miller

I've always been a stat fan I send him messages of encouragement on twitter.. hes just had a rough time of it with injuries, age, and the loss of athleticism that comes with age. The more he plays the better he'll get.

Honestly think that by playoff time stat will be scoring 20- 25 consistently. Am I a fool? Maybe but talent dont just disappear. It just gets covered over by circumstance.

lesdiggz
lesdiggz

WOW, SO NOOOOOOWWWWW  we have stat fans, funny how so many people wrote him off as dead in the waters, and wanted him traded so bad because he was done. I still think if he cant regain his allstart form then yeah, a trade would be merrited because of his pay check. I said start him, give him some good time on the floor, get his value up, then get get what we can for him, but i truely will be sad to see him go. he is one of the few players in the league with (Real Heart for the game) and you can never count out a big heart as corny as it may sound

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

some new offensive sets looked good, found Amare wide open down low, they didnt just run iso melo. as has been pointed out when Melo gets more than 4+ assists the knicks dont lose, that means that should be a must every night

denelor
denelor

Loved the looks with Stat getting the ball deep in the post.  He's quicker that a lot of the guys guarding and has some explosiveness.  Lots of interesting possibilities open up if that becomes an occasional part of the offense.  Well.. and if it doesn't kill his knees. 


It was rough going a few times, but if they can get comfortable with it it could be a real nice weapon. 

lobcity
lobcity

Brook.. I still can't believe they wanted Ibaka instead of Harden. Smh

Isaac Miller
Isaac Miller

Shump Felton thjr not too bad either. Just gotta keep Playing like tonight.

lobcity
lobcity

Knickleby.. I'm the only who suggested that signing Stat after his contract is up wont be a bad idea for the right price. Sign him for 5mil to come off tjr bench is a good idea imo....Most here disagree though.

smiggybalz
smiggybalz

has nuthin to do with his talent....its his knees

smiggybalz
smiggybalz

thats only because most here arent as stupid as you

lesdiggz
lesdiggz

@smiggybalz i wont deny the dude has some pretty jacked up wheels, but hes def not finished like how they dogged him, on this very site. My arguement was the dude is still rehabbing and getting his timing together, it took him a few games last yr and he wasnt on min restictions. I just felt like the dude got an unfair shake for being injured. as a matter of fact there hasnt been to many to come back from injuries as well as he has. hes not up there with AI, but the dude is close