Nov 30, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT
The Knicks may be getting a huge Christmas present, and like parents everywhere Christmas Day coach Mike Woodson is going to be asking himself “where do I put this?”
Amar’e Stoudemire’s goal is to return around Christmas, with mid-December no longer a legitimate possibility, according to person familiar with the Knicks power forward’s thinking. The person said Stoudemire hasn’t begun running on the court following his surgery on Nov. 1.
The question is where does Woodson play on a team 10-4 without him. Stoudemire on a team where Stoudemire has reportedly said if he comes back he is wiling to come off the bench for the Knicks, which makes sense — right now the Knicks starting lineup is clicking and Woodson doesn’t want to mess with it. Stoudemire wants the team to win, he’s not going to mess with it, either.
But that does not solve the bigger issue — the Knicks still have to get Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony on the same page and working well together if they are going to be the second best team in the East and challenge the Heat. That must be Woodson’s focus.
As for Stoudemire’s return date….
The Knicks play the Lakers on Christmas Day, so fire up the trade speculations… except in reality there is nothing there.
There’s been speculation there were talks between the Lakers and Knicks about a Stoudemire-Pau Gasol trade but a source claims nothing took place.
The Lakers don’t want Stoudemire. If they move Gasol — and that remains a big if, they are not shopping him right now — it will not be to New York for a guy who makes more money than Gasol, has one more year on his deal at that higher price, and has problems with both knees plus a bulging disc in his back.