SI: Amar’e, J.R. among top 100 players

Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith were both named in the top 100-51 players in the NBA, according to Sports Illustrated.

Amar’e checked in at No. 85 and Smith was named No. 83.

“There’s no way to accurately guess what this season will hold for Stoudemire, but here’s hoping it’s something other than another round of the ‘worst contract in the league’ discussion,” SI’s Ben Golliver wrote.

On Smith, Golliver wrote: “If someone developed a Trouble-making Efficiency Rating, there’s little doubt that Smith, the 2013 Sixth Man Award winner, would be at or near the top of the list.”

There’s more on Stoudemire and Smith at SI.com.

The list released on Monday showed the 100-51st best players. The list of 50-1 will be released at a later date.

Harris Decker

This list is very telling for the Knicks and should serve as motivation for both players. Stoudemire was once respected as an elite scorer in the NBA. Years removed from those days, his ability to prove himself has been hampered by injury after injury. 2013-14 should be very telling for the forward. If it turns into yet another year plagued by injury, then we might be looking at the end of the road for Stat. If he’s able to stay on the court and work with Carmelo Anthony as a key piece off the bench, then Stoudemire may still have a lot to prove.

The other player on the list is J.R. Smith who comes in just a few spots ahead of Amar’e. It’s interesting to see how close these two landed on this list because of Smith’s high level of play and Stoudemire’s inability to play. I’m not sure what this list tells us about Smith. We know he’s a great scorer and showed some flashes of defense in the playoffs, but his immaturity continues to plague him. In order for the Knicks to succeed this year, they need both of these players to outplay their #85 and #83 rankings.