NEW YORK KNICKS - Amare Stoudemire Out Minimum Six Weeks With Injury. Faces Second Surgery, This Time On Right Knee.
Time To Follow The Melo Brick Road
The Knicks plan to preserve Amare's knees - the one to limit his minutes by having him come off the bench - the one that was starting to work out nicley of late - failed. The uninsurable Amare Stoudemire has effectively been lost for the rest of the regular season with a right knee injury. Six weeks is the actual prognosis. That potentially puts Amare and the Knicks into the end of April or early May, and the playoffs. That's a damn shame too. After everything he's been through here. Amare has done nothing but say and do the right thing since arriving. But when taking injuries into account, he could never do enough. There is also no way I hold the "breaking glass" incident against him - not at this point. He's been that much of a stand up guy.
There is no time to wallow in self pity however. It is time to pack up, and follow the Melo Brick Road. When Carmelo's knee gets better, they're off, they're off, they're off..... in search of the elusive Atlantic Division title.
You know where I stand - the team concept versus the star system. From here on out, it's the star system or bust. The Knicks fortunes now lie exclusively between what Carmelo Anthony thinks he needs to do, and wants to do, in order to help the Knicks win, and what Melo actually needs to do in order to help his coach and team mates make the Knicks a successful team. Coach Woodson's prophecy is now his reality. When he assumed the role of head coach, he said he would be riding Carmelo Anthony as far as his small forward takes him and the Knicks. With Amare officially out, and not being accused of complicating the rotation, Coach Woodson now gets to saddle up and find out just how far that really is.
Before Amare's injury changed everything, the Knicks recent game against the Thunder punctuated the argument, or growing belief, the Knicks are a more cohesive, and thereby a more effective team, when Melo is off the floor. Their last win over the Jazz minus both Amare and Melo, may have reinforced the notion even further. There are tons of truth in that argument. But at the same time, the Knicks will not win an NBA title without Carmelo Anthony. It didn't help Melo's cause that the Knicks dream bench of Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas never quite made it out of the senior center. And the rest of the assembled body, like Ray Felton's increasingly round one, or Jason Kidd's creaky one, aren't performing as spryly as they were last Fall either.
Something will have to give, or, some one will have to bend. Because right now, at this very moment, this is J.R. Smith's team. Somehow, someway, and at some point, Coach Woodson has to make Melo conform again, into the player Anthony was back in November and December, and keep that player in uniform until June, Red Holzman willing. For if alternative anti-Melo emerges from behind the wizard's curtain after his own knee injury subsides, the Knicks will be headed towards a tumultuous end, and no one will like the way Carmelo Anthony, first and foremost, will explain everything off.