Actually, there is not much of a debate here. Until proven otherwise, we can see the Melo/STAT combo not working and preventing the Knicks from making a deep run in the playoffs. Call it a hunch because it hasn’t worked very well up to this point for the two Alpha scorers with superstar egos to match.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, January 5, 2013, 4:36 PM.
Mike Woodson's New Year's resolution should be to integrate Amar'e Stoudemire (r.) seamlessly into the Knicks rotation - no small task.
A few of the A-list items we’re looking forward to seeing in the coming weeks of the 2013 NBA season:
- We’ll lead off with the Knicks’ No. 1 issue: Whether they can win big with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire playing together.
“I know everybody is debating it,” Mike Woodson said the other day.
Actually, there is not much of a debate here. Until proven otherwise, we can see it not working and preventing the Knicks from making a deep run in the playoffs.
Call it a hunch because it hasn’t worked very well up to this point for the two Alpha scorers with superstar egos to match.
At least the light came on for Woodson this past week when he said that he’ll have to play a prominent role in getting Anthony and Stoudemire to successfully play together. Before, he tried to make a case for Stoudemire figuring out how he needed to reincorporate himself into the team’s offense.
Stoudemire says all the right things about doing what’s best for the team in his new bench role. But he also compared this moment in his career to when he returned from microfracture surgery in Phoenix and went on to make All-NBA in three of his final four seasons for the Suns.
“I expect myself to get back into top shape and reach (the level) where I was before,” he said.
Obviously, he has goals to become a dominant player again. That means getting his share of touches and shots and that will be in direct competition with Anthony, who is enjoying his best season as a pro and is going to get serious consideration for the MVP for the first time, if the Knicks continue to challenge for the top seed in the East.
No coach worth his practice whistle can trust a player like Stoudemire to figure it out. It’s going to have to be Woodson’s job, and guess what? That is his job as coach of the team. It doesn’t mean he will come up with the right strategies, although he maintains, “It will come.” But we took it as a definite sign of progress to hear him finally admit, “It’s going to be my job to figure it out.”
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