Amar’e Stoudemire will play tonight against Portland. This is good news, presumably, some front-court depth for a team that has started Kurt Thomas – 40-year-old Kurt Thomas – at the power forward position at times. But it’s not good news too, and the news has been met with cautious trepidation on the part of Knicks fans. No one wants to mess with the current mojo, the winning, and so they’re left at an impasse: To cheer for Amar’e, or not to cheer for Amar’e?
In theory, more talented players on the same team equals a better team. For the Knicks, the opposite has been proven true. More room for Melo to operate, more room for Felton to weave in and out of the defense, more spot up shooters who can’t do much of else, the better. And then ESPN decided to drop this ominous nugget this morning:
Amar’e Stoudemire returns tonight for the Knicks. They were 8.7 points worse per 48 minutes with Amar’e on the court last season.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 1, 2013
So here we are somewhat dreading the return of a $100 million player, unsure of whether or not he should start. We’ll overanalyze and overdiagnose whatever happens tonight because that’s what’s done these days. And Amar’e will continue to say the right things, do the right thing. As for whether or not it works out, well that’s an entirely different question.