By now you heard that the top picks of the 2003 NBA draft have opted to be free agents. With everything up in the air, where do you think these players will go ?
Today is game 3 of Knicks vs Pacers. I wouldn’t quite call it the rivalry renewed like some in the media have, but a key component to the series will be seeing playing time tonight, in A’mare Stoudemire. STAT has been missing during the Knicks final stretch of the season and the team has shown that they can pull it together without him. However, when Tyson Chandler was out with injury and the team was forced to play small, we saw the negative effects that happen with the lack of interior size. Small ball works for only so long. As we saw in Game 1 of the series, the Pacers bruised the Knicks in the paint, as Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony were in foul trouble. It seemed like the Knicks themselves, struggled to get to the foul line, and the offense was stagnant when Melo was on the bench. Which is why I believe that Melo and the Knicks will only benefit from a returning A’mare. A’mare averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds, just under a block a game, and 80% from the free throw line. In only 29 games we have seen flashes of his grit, and offensive moves that he learned and worked on during the off season. But think of how, against this team, that he fits perfectly. This will help the Knicks. Whenever Chandler is in foul trouble or Carmelo or JR are cold. We have the low post presence in Stoudemire, that can post up back to the basket, face the basket and knock down a shot, or attack the rim offensively, in a manner where Chandler and Martin are limited by the way, and draw fouls. This will not only relieve Melo and take some of the weight off of his shoulders, but also make the perimeter players surrounding Stoudemire valuable options, as we have seen that he is not afraid to pass. Felton and Prigioni will run the pick and roll fluidly. JR Smith will be better now that he has a running mate off the bench. The Knicks will be better on both sides of the ball, now that we have another body to drain energy and draw fouls on David West and Roy Hibbert. The Pacers are no easy task, and in playoff basketball you need all the size you can get. And I will take a healthy A’mare Stoudemire any day of the week. I predict that he will be a little rusty in his first game back in 3 months, however, I look for STAT to come out with an attitude that he has something to prove. SILENCE, to you haters. #Knickstape