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News  


NBA -- Knicks ace Stoudemire could play today


PhilBoxing.com


NEW YORK -- When a power forward of Amar'e Stoudemire's heft and might returns to action from a protracted injury, his welcome is usually greeted with the joy and celebration of a ticker tape parade.

But Knicks fans are ambivalent about the 30-year old All-Star's return. They fear that his insertion in the line-up will create chemistry issues and that his propensity to demand the basketball will impede on the effectiveness of Carmelo Anthony, the team's leader and leading scorer.


At 6-foot-11 and 245 pounds, Stoudemire is a coveted asset who averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds a game last season. But he hasn't played a lick this season, no thanks to a lingering knee injury that has bugged the superstar time and again since going through microfracture surgery on October 2005.

"It would be great if I could go January 1st but again, I can't determine how I feel. If I can continue to improve then that will be a great day to start back playing." Stoudemire told ESPN New York as the Knicks prepare to host the visiting Portland TrailBlazers tonight (Jan 2 in the Philippines) at the world-famous Madison Square Garden.

Anthony, who has missed the Knicks' last two games due to a hyperextended left knee, is expected to suit up for New York. How he plays alongside Stoudemire is an interesting facet of this upcoming basketball game.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Anthony is the hearbeat of the Knicks offense, powering them with 28.5 points an outing. The 28-year old pure scorer is in the midst of a terrific season, shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 43.4 percent above the 3-point arc.

Statistics seem to indicate that the Knicks fare much better with just Anthony in the lineup and that New York morphs into an average team with Melo and Amar'e playing together.

Cognizant of the possible disruptions his return may inflict upon the Knicks offense, Stoudemire had publicly declared that he won't mind coming off the bench once healthy and cleared by doctors.

The question is: Will the Knicks management allow a player who is getting paid $19.9 million this season to just come off the bench and play back-up minutes?

If Melo and Stoudemire can somehow co-exist and play happily together with just one basketball, the Knicks -- with 7-foot- Tyson Chandler in the middle -- will have one of the league's most imposing frontlines.

Can they?

Another day in New York basketball. Another drama.

But then again, that's why these are the Knicks, and not your Cleveland Cavaliers. (RYS)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Reynaldo Seno.


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