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Stoudemire promises to return to old self, Knicks to contend

Feb 29, 2012, 1:21 PM EDT

New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire waits to take a foul shot against the New Orleans Hornets in the second half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York Reuters

Amare Stoudemire has struggled this season.

He has not been nearly as explosive going to the rim, his midrange shot has fallen off (he shot 44 percent from 16 feet out to the arc last year, 36 percent this year) and he finds himself having to play off the ball now rather than being the focus of the offense (which means more spot-up jumpers, not his strong suit). Also, Stoudemire added 15 pounds of muscle last summer as he tried to strengthen his back and body so he would not wear down in the playoffs as he did last year. Throw in the untimely death of his brother and it has been a rough first half of the season for Stoudemire.

But he told Newsday things are going to be different in the second half of the season, he is shedding the weight and looking to attack more.

“All of that might have played a factor,” Stoudemire said. “There’s no excuse for that. I wanted to get stronger. I wanted to definitely heal my back. From a health standpoint, I feel great, but now it’s time to tune it up a little bit and play great basketball.”

He adds that the Knicks have a team that should be a threat in the East.

“We feel that we have enough on this team to win a championship,” Stoudemire said after practice Tuesday. “We have the right personnel, the right players and the right mind frame. It’s a matter of us going out and playing the right way. And if we do that, we can do something special.”

The Knicks need to get Stoudemire some touches in isolation and use him more as the roll guy in pick-and-rolls. Right now they have been using Tyson Chandler heavily in that role because he and Jeremy Lin have developed a fast chemistry (and Chandler is very good as the roll man) but the Knicks need to find a way to diversify the offense and use all their weapons.

And Stoudemire has to just start knocking down the midrange again.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 29, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    The Knicks can be really good.

  2. bearsstillsuck - Feb 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Excellent analysis cantonbound

  3. jjordannba - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Old self still equals no defense

    • makjak2 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Knicks are about 6th in the league in defensive efficiency,and this includes the defense of Amare and Melo. Surprisingly, d has not really been a problem for them overall this season. The problem has really been no pg until Lin, and Melo and Stat simultaneously having their worst seasons pretty much ever.

  4. losangelasbasketball - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Amare spent too many developing years getting carried by nash… His skills never redlined because most his production was depemdant on on a savvy hall of fame pg….Lin is a stop gap, not a permanant solution…. His handle is questionable against good defenses.. new york should be looking to deal lin next year while his stock is high…

  5. noirad - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    It is going to be hard to do that when Steve Nash isn’t spoon feeding you the ball.

    • theghostofwillisreed - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      the hater comments above would have been a bit more intelligent had they been said last year. he’s having an off year coming off a year where he was a mvp candidate the majority of the year until the melo trade.


      • noirad - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Hater? Yeah. You damn right, Stoudemire left Phoenix, *my favorite team* for more money. I wouldn’t have cared if he had left to win, but he left just for 100 plus million. Players say all the time they would play without money, but I strongly disagree. If you are going to leave by your own power do it with the intent of winning like LBJ did, not for money. Stoudemire cares more about fashion than winning. -_-

  6. losangelasbasketball - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Stat needs to run the pick and roll with nash again…that combo was devastating…

  7. dysraw1 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    if he gets the shooting touch he had last year its over

  8. max20characters - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Carmelo Anthony needs to make this promise too.

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