Amar’e Stoudemire’s productive comeback to the 2012-2013 season is now over with the confirmation that he will miss at least six weeks to have another knee debridement surgery.
Stoudemire missed the first two months of the season following the November 1 procedure on his left knee for a burst cyst. The pending surgery will be on his right knee and was discovered when Stoudemire complained of soreness in both knees following the Knicks’s 95-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stoudemire has come off the bench since his January 1 return, but saw a marked increase in minutes after Carmelo Anthony went down with a sore knee in a March 4 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stoudemire had been on a 30-minute playing cap per his last surgery.
Stoudemire was averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 57% from the field.
At press time, the Knicks are expected to open the rotation back up to include additional role players like Chris Copeland.
Absolutely devastating. Per the tentative timeline, Stoudemire could be back in the playoffs by the end of the first or sometime in the second round if the Knicks get that far. But do we really want to risk playing Stoudemire fresh out of surgery in the grueling, physical atmosphere of the playoffs? This news pretty much declares to me he’s done for the year.
This puts all of the scoring load back on Melo and JR. When they’re hot, it will be thrilling stuff. When they’re not, it’ll be like watching a cat playing with a mouse (ie. a slow death). That goes for the rest of our squad — we are truly living and dying by the three-point shot for the rest of the year. This is the second player we’ve lost to injury (Rasheed Wallace being the first), and our star player in Carmelo Anthony has already missed 10 games from the wear and tear of heavy minutes and playing at power forward for most of the year. Coach Woodson said he planned on trying to get Melo’s minutes down to 35. For that to happen, someone has to step up big and I mean Linsanity-like big.
The Knicks front office have some tough decisions to make this off-season.
Looks like the Knicks needed another reminder that you can’t play zero defense and expect lower level teams to roll over for you. Coach Mike Woodson made it a point to say in the last game that although they blew out the Pistons, they were outplayed in the second half and lucky to have had a big cushion. The Knicks didn’t have that cushion tonight and paid dearly for it in the deciding quarter.
THE TREYS NEVER STOP: From the first quarter the Knicks had a horrible time defending the perimeter shooters and keeping John Wall out of the paint. Wall would blow by his man (in most cases Felton) and that lead to wide open threes for Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster, who would go a combined 10-16 from downtown.
WHEN DID WALL BECOME A SHOOTING THREAT?!: Everyone knows John Wall can’t shoot. Hell, it’s hard not to shoot bricks with him in NBA 2K with his sliders on 100. So why on earth were our guards playing him tight? That allowed him to attack the rim and then it seemed like our whole team collapsed allowing for wide open three pointers.
WASHED IN THE 4TH QUARTER: The Knicks took a 73-70 lead in the fourth which evaporated in a matter of seconds with Melo fouling Ariza on the perimter for a four-point play. The Wizards took advantage of unexcusably lax Knicks defense, which on multiple occassions saw them late to get set down the floor and give up dunks to Nene and drives to Wall. With them unable to get stops, the Knicks resorted to iso Melo ball and long stepback jumpers from JR Smith… you know how those turn out in the long run. The Wizards would go on to outscore the Knicks 36-23 to emphatically close the game.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE FEELING YOURSELF: The Knicks were able to turn it on at will the last two games against the Kings and Pistons. They came into D.C. feeling themselves and got a rude awakening of what happens when you play trash defense and have a lazy mentality for most of the game. Let’s hope this is a wake-up as the Knicks head to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves, another sub .500 team.
The hell with this game. That was my thoughts just a few minutes into the third quarter when the Sixers extended their lead to 20-plus and it became obvious the Knicks had completely phoned it in. How bad was it? Melo, Shumpert and JR shot a combined 9-42. The team well into the third was shooting 32%. The lane was wide open for any Sixer player that wanted an easy bucket *stares at Tyson Chandler*. Jrue Holiday abused a returning Raymond Felton (and anyone else that tried to guard him, for that matter), to the tune of 35 points.
The sole bright spot for the Knicks was Amar’e Stoudemire got going for his first 20 point game and played decent defense. Other than that, the Knicks are lucky that the Bulls and Nets also dropped games allowing NY to keep their tenuous #2 spot in the East.
All in all, it was an absolutely disgraceful night of basketball. The Knicks better had redemption on the mind today when they face the Hawks on ESPN.
Let’s be brutally honest about Friday’s blowout loss to the Rockets in Houston. The Knicks shamed themselves and reverted back to the worst of their habits from early last year: no ball movement, iso heavy offense, no rebounding and weak interior defense.
The game was reasonable until the last minutes of the second quarter, when Coach Woodson inexpicably went with a frontcourt that included Steve Novak and Melo. The Rockets got to the line at will, with James Harden having more free throw attempts than our entire squad. Omar Asik destroyed Tyson Chandler inside on the offensive rebounding side and scoring at will in the post. At halftime, we had given up 72 points and were looking at a 72-57 deficit.
It got worst in the second half. We got as close as 10 (73-83) when yet again, our leaders left the refs take us out of the game. Melo got a technical for complaining and let a Rockets player waltz right by him on a fast break in the midst of his complaint for any easy score. Chandler wasn’t far behind on the whining, and the Knicks looked completely deflated and went into heavy isolation plays that lead to contested JR Smith jumpers and more fast break/free throw opportunities for the Rockets. Chandler got a flagrant 1 for elbowing Asik and by the end of the third we were down 80-104. Yes, you read that right; the Knicks gave up over 100 points in just three quarters. It was the same story in the fourth with Asik making Chandler is personal whipping boy. The 131 points we gave up is the highest scored by any team this season. Even Toney Douglas was draining shots (now that is unacceptable)
This game can determine how the rest of the Knicks season goes. Either they come together and acknowledge the team’s glaring faults or continue not trusting each other. There’s a few things I’d like to see in today’s game against the Pistons.
1. Stop letting the refs decide the game. It’s not right, but Melo and Tyson are not going to get the benefit of the doubt on any calls. I sincerely believe among refs they’ve gotten a reputation as complainers and the refs deliberately look not to call fouls in their favor. They need to suck it up, not complain outwardly, and get back on defense. Next dead play, mention respectively what’s happening to the refs and keep it moving. This starts with our team captains/leaders Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler
2. PLAY DEFENSE. We lead the league in points allowed and there’s no reason that should have been destroyed by the Rockets. Harden and company driving to the lane at will is unacceptable. Tyson has played badly on the defensive end and has to get it together.
3. Rebounding. Part of this ties into the coaching. We need Camby out there helping, period. Melo does what he can, but playing him at the 4 isn’t always going to work against the bigger teams. You’d think the Grizzlies loss would’ve have hammered that point home. Time to get creative with the lineups as teams are starting to figure us out.
Redemption starts today at 1pm.