Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire: Raymond Felton and I Are Ready to Pick Up Where We Left Off
Somewhat known around the Big Apple as "The $100 Million Man," Amar'e Stoudemire displayed great potential of bringing the Knicks back to greatness during his first season donning orange and blue.
Developing a great understanding on the hardwood with then point guard Raymond Felton, Stoudemire, thrived, playing like an M.V.P. candidate in 2010-11. Having played with Steve Nash before and finding success via the pick and roll, it was no surprise that STAT hit it off with Felton on the court.
Last season, Stoudemire seemed to struggle without Felton as the Knicks failed to settle on a regular starting point guard until Jeremy Lin came along. By the time that happened, perhaps it was too late for the pair to develop that same chemistry STAT formed with previous floor generals.
Nevertheless, with Felton now back in the fold, Stoudemire is looking forward to reliving old times. The big man belives he and the re-acquired point guard won't have any difficulty picking up right where they left off.
Reflecting upon their first stint together, the big man said, "Ray and I were able to build great chemistry. We would sit and chat every day after practice. We would discuss how to execute things off the pick and rolls. We talked about the kinds of things each one of us look for within the flow of the game. We really were able to get things going. None of that will change."
Stoudemire added, "It'll be more of the same this year. We're going to continue to build that rapport with a full training camp under our belts. After that, we'll be ready to go."
Appearing at "Barnes & Noble" in New York City to promote the first book of his new children's book series ("STAT: Standing Tall and Talented #1: Home Court"), Stoudemire spoke to KnicksJournal.com and other members of the media about how he and Felton will look to help lead the Knicks next season.
Because Felton, like Stoudemire, is coming off somewhat of an off-year, the pair is sure to be as hungry as ever to help one another bounce back. With exciting prospects ahead, STAT was optimistic regarding the point guard's potential contributions next season. He said, "Raymond is going to be awesome. He's a player who wants to improve and always talks about getting better. He's going to help us."
Of course, the Knicks have players like Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith who can both bring the ball up the court and create offensive opportunities for themselves. Both seem to thrive when given such freedom with the players.
That said, other players, like Stoudemire, thrive with a floor general making intelligent plays to set him up appropriately. As last season proved, Anthony cannot simply carry the Knicks on his back all season long. STAT needs to be a major factor on offense, but perhaps Felton can help him regain his form a bit.
How Coach Mike Woodson plans to integrate both styles of play and help the different offensive weapons mesh remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Stoudemire needs to rise above once again.
Sounding confident he would be contributing much more efficiently and effectively next season, the Knicks' forward said, "Coach Woodson made it clear that the team needs me to be that offensive threat. He's going to put the ball in my hands more, and I'm going to be ready to execute to the best of my abilities."