Hamilton: Finally, as a starter, Amar’e Stoudemire standing tall and talented once again

Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst

He went from standing tall and talented to not standing at all, but unlike his demeanor, Amar’e Stoudemire has quietly played an integral role in the Knicks piecing together the longest win streak of their season.

Amare StoudemireWith only 15 games remaining, the Knicks trail the Atlanta Hawks by three games and five in the loss column, but credit them for this: they have not quit.

And despite undergoing multiple knee surgeries and seeing both his place in the rotation and the level at which he is capable of contributing being doubted and diminished, Stoudemire has remained upbeat and has reemerged as a force for the Knicks.

Better late than never, he’d say.

On the season, the team is now 5-1 with Stoudemire as a starter, and there were certainly times when it seemed that he was incapable of contributing at such a high level. But like a true professional, he continued to work hard, listened to the training staff, and toiled tirelessly.

And as the Knicks desperately try to rescue their season, he has reemerged as a major contributor and hasn’t quit, even when injuries derailed his career and he seemingly had reason to.

“Never doubt, never doubt,” Stoudemire told TKB after the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday afternoon. In 27 minutes, Stoudemire scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds en route to helping the Knicks pull out a 115-94 win—their sixth straight.

With those 15 points, Stoudemire has now scored in double-figures in seven straight games—his longest such streak since he underwent knee debridement surgery back in March 2013.

“Truly, I have complete faith and I work extremely hard,” Stoudemire said. “I know once you put the work in that the results will eventually happen, so that’s pretty much what we’re seeing now.”

After the win, Stoudemire walked into a jovial and upbeat Knick locker room and loudly greeted Earl Clark and Jeremy Tyler. Reciting Jay-Z lyrics, he asked, rhetorically, “Can I Live?”

At least for right now, he certainly is.

“We’re seeing a manifestation of the work that I put in before,” Stoudemire told TKB. Now, the question is whether he can sustain it. If he can, the question then becomes whether the eigth-seed Hawks will continue to flounder and help the Knicks catch them.

Though it may not be wholly relevant at this point, the proof is in the pudding. The Knicks have succeeded with Stoudemire being given a bigger role. As a post-operator, Stoudemire has shown astronomical growth in the areas of balance, patience and counter-attacks. Though lacking in size and girth against some of the league’s bigger power forwards, he has utilized his nimbleness and effectively learned how to use his body to create space and opportunities for himself.

We have witnessed physically overmatched players over the years—most notably Charles Barkley (height) and Kevin Garnett (girth)—overcome those obstacles to become brilliant post players. Lately, we have seen Kevin Durant begin to do the same.

Stoudemire may not warrant mention amongst either of those three, but, at this point, it is obvious that, though he is no Hakeem Olajuwon, he is one of the Nigerian Nightmare’s pupils.

Could the season be different if he had been reinserted into the lineup sooner?

It is a fair question, but not one that Stoudemire is losing sleep over.

“You never know,” he told TKB with a shrug when asked. “It’s hard to tell.

“Coach Woodson was being cautious about changing up the chemistry, but again, like I said before, better late than never so now we’re playing well and we just gotta keep going.”

And keep going, they will.

Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler“Absolutely, absolutely,” Carmelo Anthony told TKB when asked if Stoudemire’s toiling and productivity has been inspiring to witness.

“We’re around Amar’e everyday, all day, so we know the work that he puts in, we know how hard he works, we know how frustrated he gets when things are not going his way so we had his back this whole time,” Anthony said.

“We kinda had this feeling that he was gonna get out of it but playing at this level, at a very high level, you can’t ask for nothing better than that.”

With the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers set to visit Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night and the Knicks using a six-game win streak to desperately cling to their minuscule playoff hopes, Stoudemire, on Saturday, rightfully referred to himself as one of his team’s leaders.

“Everyone gets involved now,” Stoudemire said when asked what has changed for the Knicks over the course of their streak.

“[Carmelo, Tyson and I] are kinda the three anchors on the team, the three captains of the team,” he said.

“We set the tone and everyone else follows and so far, everyone has been following suit very well and everyone’s been contributing. So far, even the guys that have been coming off the bench have played well and if we continue that type of play, we should be successful.”

Regardless of how things end up for these Knicks this season, Stoudemire has played a major role in the late resurgence. At the very least, it is inspiring. At the very most, he may be helping to save the season.

Either way, so long as health remains on his side, when it is all said and done, having rediscovered his productivity and altering and developing his offensive repertoire, he can, once again, attempt to revert to his former self.

Once again, he can be a productive piece and stand before New York City.

Once again, standing tall and talented.


Moke Hamilton is the NBA Analyst for SNY.tv and, along with Lead Writer Harris Decker, hosts the Knicks Blog Podcast each and every Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter: @MokeHamilton




241 comments
Sandro
Sandro

Lol

It took this team 67 games in order to get 27 wins.

Now, you expect them to win 12 out of 15.

We have to play Indiana, Phoenix, Golden State, Brooklyn x2, Washington, Miami, Toronto x2 and Chicago.

That's 9 games against teams that have better records than ours.

Assuming that we win all the 5 games that we have against non-playoff teams, AND THAT'S A BIG IF, that means we'd have to win 7 out of the 10 games we have against playoff teams.

On top of all that, Atlanta would have to play sub .500 ball the rest of the way.

That would be hard with Phil Jackson coaching this team.
As Woodson's still the man...

We're just putting a smile on Denver's face.

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

15 games left and 3 games out 

we better end this season with the biggest run ever and i mean not only crawl into the playoffs but make an impact in the Playoffs

Phil Jax got the team inspired without even opening his mouth 

if we can go 12 and 3 that may help 

but if we can win every single game that may really help 

Have Faith Fellas we look locked in. 

newyorker9
newyorker9

alright fellas, have a safe night, don't drink and drive and like always lets go Knicks. peace. 

rgm891
rgm891

I am curious to see the player the Nuggets get with our pick this year in the draft man. 

newyorker9
newyorker9

number one rule when your drunk don't text or call ex-bitc3es, number two rule don't go to a strip club when drunk... seriously don't... 

rgm891
rgm891

I have almost come to the realization that we truly aren't going to make the playoffs.  Unbelievable man

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

We're finally beating up the bustas and everyone is upbeat.  Can't wait for Wednesday when we play a real team. It's too long before Wednesday! I've seen STATues too many times go off about how they have it together and then.........................Come on Wednesday!

Josh Gabriel
Josh Gabriel

@OLDKNICK  I've been saying this ever since the Phil Jackson story broke. Now that he is on board, anyone and everyone is in play for 2015, including Lebron. 

1harris1
1harris1

@Sandro Knick Fanatic had pointed out earlier this evening that Denver may not even get to use our pick.   Apparently the lesser pick in this year's draft between the Nuggets and Knicks goes to Orlando.  First time that I've heard that.  I looked it up to verify and he is correct.

bigdishing
bigdishing

@Sandro  at this point, if we don't give up a top ten pick, I'll be happy. A week or so ago we were close to the third worst team in the league. At the beginning of the season, I thought this team had a legit shot at the ecf. It's called lowering your expectations. 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@KnickelusKnickleby  If the team does make the playoffs. 

And that's a huge if, there's absolutely no chance of making any sort of impact, especially considering we'll be playing Miami or Indy straight out of the gate.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@newyorker9  

A "don't drink and drive" reminder is always worth a "Like"

chudogz1
chudogz1

@rgm891. The point guard we need

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@rgm891  

Denver will get the better pick between us and them, so they may not get our pick after all. The lesser pick goes to Orlando.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@dagawd  How about Chris Paul?

Has he ever gotten to the WCF? How many times has he gotten out of the 1st round?


Is he a loser? Are his fans idiots as well?

How about DWill with Sloan? How much did he do?

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@dagawd LOL  You're gonna get Kiyan upset againWe have to build around Melo man! lol

rgm891
rgm891

@newyorker9 Did u do number one tonight? Please tell me that didn't happen

1harris1
1harris1

@rgm891 At least we're making it interesting, which I wouldn't have expected as recently as a week and a half ago.  The loss column differential is the problem for us.  Five games with fifteen to play is a lot of ground to make up.  It would be nice if the Bucks tomorrow could win a game for a change at home against Charlotte.  It would mean that when Charlotte and Atlanta play Monday, the loss column number would automatically come down a game.  But I guess we'll see. 


dagawd
dagawd

He's a lil kid i don't blame him for having a low frequency brain

rgm891
rgm891

@1harris1 @rgm891 That's a good point man.  At least they're trying to fight to the bitter end regardless of how weak our schedule has been as of late.  We will all be watching closely that's for sure.

rgm891
rgm891

@newyorker9 @rgm891 Absolutely man you're right.  If I quit on the Knicks all these years I would be a miserable blog poster.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturnWe have a shot for sure.  Honestly I;m not sure because we have 10 of the next 16 games away and we end playing ok games I think. 

I do hope we do! We shall see.  I do know one way or other, we aren't going anywhere inthe playoffs but the 1str round if we make it.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@rgm891 @Knicks_Fanatic 

The good thing for Denver, if both teams miss the playoffs, they have two chances to move up with the ping pong balls. So even if both teams end up 13th and 14th, there is always a chance they could get lucky, like Chicago did with Rose. Well, maybe not, Rose looks to be fragile as STAT, but you know what I mean.

Mr.Boots
Mr.Boots

@dagawd If I recall correctly, in the past Kiyan has claimed to be a 27 y.o. college student.

dagawd
dagawd

@xmenreturn  I use to go by Knowledge and say Stay Tuned for more Knowledge

The i use to say real talk

dagawd
dagawd

The 12th man is suppose to the robin

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturn@dagawdYep we have gone thru a lot with our team.  Hopefully Phil can bring in a new era that is very good.  I'm patient and is willing to wait for him to  do this right and no short cuts. 

Hope is eternal but I hope winning a ring isn't an eternity.

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn @rgm891@dagawd Haha that's insane.  I cant believe I was on board with the D'antoni hiring.  I was just wanting change and didn't think it out.  It's crazy how quickly my impression of him and Woodson have changed.  Lmaooo.  Want them both gone like a freight train.  PJ making the decision is just an amazing thing to think about rather than the hobbit dolan.  We have nothing to worry about lmao

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturn@dagawd 

Yep!  My man Dwgawd has been around for years. He was the first person i posted to on the blog many years ago when I was trying to tell others that D'antoni sucked! 

It was only a few of us and we used to get slammed. Dagawd had a phrase then called,

 "That's real talk!" or something very close to it. 

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn @dagawd This Melo drama is going to be crazy either way.  Especially on this blog if he does end up leaving.   

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@dagawd lol Poor Melo, he has never had a chance to  win anything in his 10 years.  Why are you trying to blame the max paid super star? Blame the 12th guy on the bench because he should be better to help out.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturn@Mr.BootsYep. I have heard all the excuses.  Drinking used to give some of my friends confidence so when they got shot down by a pretty girl, the had a legit excuse. 

Watching this stuff is surely funny as heck.

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn @Mr.Boots I have seen that so many times I have lost count.  They just don't care about standards and just go all out. Hahhaha. 


In the morning- Wtf happened last night?  They play it off like they were blackout drunk and forgot everything.

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn Hahahhaaha!!! Those stories will last with u forever.  Just thinking about them is absolutely hilarious alone. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Mr.Boots @xmenreturnLMAO!  

There should be surgeon waring about drinking as it relates to picking up ugly women!

I think the fugly women are the ones pushing the liquor.


Mr.Boots
Mr.Boots

@xmenreturn After 2AM, many women look good under the "French Fry" lights, but on the way out when you see them under the parking lot lights . . .

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturnLMAO!  I d on't see how guys do it man.  Imagine that those same women walking up ya in a crowd with you boys and others saying. "Did you enjoy last night boo?"

You know how I am, when it happens to my boys, I slam them forever. I got so many stories on them that they hate getting together with me man.  I can break on them aaaaaaaall l day.   

I was always sober so I never forget.lol

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn Hahhahahha! Def for the better man.  Never letting that happen to me again.  Fugly women just scary thinking about it.  I am just going to run for my life if I am in that situation again.  I gotta go to the bathroom and never come back or some shi%.  Gets them every time. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 @xmenreturn@carl hill@newyorker9@Kiyan Carter LOL I must admit I really haven't. In college, i used to see my friends have these fugly women walking out scaring the heck out of people in the morning.  

I used to wonder what and how much drinks does it takes for your eyes and brains to just shut off.  I could se eif they had a slamming body but that usually wasn't the case too.

That alone would prevent me from drinking. No suprises in the morning. I usually have the same smile in the morning that i went to bed with.  That's not southern comfort, that's total comfort. lol

rgm891
rgm891

@xmenreturn @carl hill@rgm891@newyorker9@Kiyan Carter I cant believe u haven't drank after all these miserable Knicks season.  Good for u man.  Sounds like an impossible task just like Leroid coming to the Knicks

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@newyorker9 @Kiyan CarterI say Shirley Temple.