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Stoudemire says he is going to focus on defense. Again.

Aug 21, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

Amare Stoudemire

Under Mike Woodson last season (both as a head coach and “defensive coordinator” assistant) the Knicks were a good defensive team — fifth in the NBA at 98.4 points allowed per 100 possessions. That is why they made the playoffs with an offense that can sputter and has two stars that haven’t figured out how to meld their games yet.

This season, Amare Stoudemire wants in on the action.

In addition to post touches on offense, he wants to be part of the defensive identity of the Knicks, he told the New York Post.

“Defense is the key to win championships, that’s something I’m dedicated on also, to become a much, much better defensive player,” he said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a matter of preparation and practice and getting that chemistry down on that end of the court.”

Fine words. Heard them before. This time I look forward to seeing them in action. Not sure I will, but I look forward to it.

However, with Tyson Chandler as a backstop, the Knicks are going to be a good defensive team this season, regardless. Woodson will have them playing smart on the perimeter, funneling the other team to the help, the Knicks have the athletes to be disruptive. Their strong defense will continue.

How good the Knicks finish depends on how well Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire can find an offensive groove together, and how Raymond Felton at the point can help facilitate that. With all the injuries and coaching changes last season, the Knicks can try to write off the offensive woes as fixable.

But this season they have a full camp and both guys there, this is when we see if the Knicks experiment really works, and how well. I’ve got a feeling we all know the answer, but this time of year is the season of hope in the NBA so we will give the Knicks their chance to prove me wrong.

  1. cantonbound13 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    What’s the matter Kurt, you couldn’t figure out a way to praise LeBron in the same article? You usually find a way to bash the Knicks & praise LeBron.
    Why all the hate towards the Knicks? Doesn’t anyone realize that these guys are yet to have a full training camp together. Last year they never had their full roster healthy. Yet they still finished 18-6 under Mike Woodson. Only the Spurs had a better record in that stretch. They definitely upgraded with their free agent acquisitions. Can’t wait to start the season to shut up all the experts, I mean haters.

    • thomaskouns - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      I agree that the hate for Lebron was unjustified.

      However, how does a team with two ‘superstars’ barely finish better than than 500?

      By neither guy caring much about D (it is a two way game after all) and neither being guys who have shown the ability or willingness to be effective players without the ball.

      Heck, if they were in the Western Conference the Knicks wouldn’t have even made the playoffs with 2 ‘superstars.’

    • jolink653 - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Thank you…I’ve been saying the same thing the whole time this Knicks roster has come together…How can they work out their issues if they haven’t had a full, normal offseason to get it done? They had the lockout last offseason and because of that and his back injury Amare was never able to get fully healthy and back to his old explosive self…Then you had Linsanity and even he couldn’t stay healthy so the full roster was never on the court…I am really excited at the potential this team has and I think if they can work out the spacing issues with Amare, Tyson and Melo then we could have something special…We get Shump back midseason and Camby adds a vital backup at center that wasn’t there last year along with a Hall of Fame point guard who’s definitely on the way down but has a lot left in him and a point guard who had his best statistics in the half season in which he was here

  2. lakerluver - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    If he focused more on defense and rebounding throughout his career he could’ve been a lot better.

  3. miamatt - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Well, the biggest improvements the Knicks are capable of making come from within. An improved (an more defensive minded) Stoudemire would go a long way towards that… as well as an offense that brings out the best in both he and Carmelo.

    I can’t really see them coming out of the East, sorry, but Mike Woodson did a good job and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them make a leap up into a top 4 seed in conference. It won’t be easy, though, with Boston, Indiana, Philly, and Brooklyn all there along with Miami.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      Knicks, barring major injury down the stretch, will be in the top 4 seeding for sure. I sure as hell wouldn’t have said that last year, but now they have an identity moving forward and the right role players to accommodate that identity. As old as all those pick ups are or not they are damn good pick ups. The only thing that could hinder their success is if Melo and STAT really can’t coexist and also their commitment to defense and really being about it and not just talking about it. I really do think this team has a shot, and especially with all the pressure and expectations on Melo, he knows he will not get another pass as he has up to this point, time to show and prove.

  4. dysraw1 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    desire is the biggest part of defensive effort, last season my man look like he had his hands in his pocket a lot,. you might say the back injury played a part in that. but truth be told son didn’t look happy on the court a great deal either. though he was consummate team player never complaining. i don’t think he was happy with the out come of the under achieving over all

  5. klink6224 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    And by again you mean he said it again. Still yet to attempt it for the first time

  6. fanz928 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Focus more on post moves man you don’t really need the defense when you have chanler as your anchor

  7. dko83 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    If he focused more on staying with Steve Nash he would’ve been a lot better…

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