The roller coaster ride known as Amar’e Stoudemire was in full effect during the 2013-14 season. Just as fans were becoming sick of his disappearing act, STAT turned things on and became such an important contributor to the team that he declared his interest in retiring as a Knick. With a massive expiring contract, there’s no telling if he’ll even be back for the 2014-15 campaign, but if this season was his last in New York, there’s a lot to be encouraged about.
Numbers and Stuff
Over the long haul, Stoudemire averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, finishing 15th in the league amongst power forwards with a Player Efficiency Rating of 18.89. He really turned things on over the final two months, putting up 15.5 points on 60 percent shooting from the field and 6.0 rebounds in March and April.
STAT’s entry into the starting lineup immediately gave the team a shot in the arm. It turned out to be too little too late, but he wound up averaging 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds as a starter, proving that he still has some game left in the tank. Stoudemire is one of the only back to the basket players on the roster, especially if Carmelo Anthony leaves, so his job should be safe through the summer, at the very least.
Despite his late-season resurgence, Stoudemire still battled some injuries throughout the season. He almost always sat out the second night of back-to-backs, even during the crucial playoff push. I get that management was trying to preserve STAT’s body for the long run, but when the team needed wins most, it didn’t help to have a player of his stature on the bench.
Personally, my favorite moment was whenever he decided to get rid of this Wolf Man look.
But on a more serious note, I’d probably pick the road game in Minnesota, which was the second of 19 consecutive starts for him. Stoudemire put up 18 points and eight rebounds in that win, and the Knicks rattled off seven more wins afterwards. If it weren’t for STAT, it’s possible that the team would have been nowhere near the playoff hunt that kept fans clinging on until the season’s final few days.
(B-) Stoudemire saved himself from the wrath of New Yorkers by playing so well down the stretch. His mid-range game was the best it’s been since 2011 and despite only playing an average of 22.6 minutes per night, he finished third on the Knicks in rebounding and fourth in scoring. There’s no telling if he’ll be back for next season, but he’d be a perfect fit for the triangle offense. We here at TOK would welcome him back with open arms.
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