The New York Knicks limped past the Boston Celtics in their Quarterfinal series this week, and the attention now turns to renewing an old rivalry with the Indiana Pacers. But this isn’t your Reggie Miller-Patrick Ewing series, as both the Pacers and Knicks are hurting after almost getting bumped off in their respective series despite strong starts by both teams.
For New York, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith have had to carry the team, but head coach Mike Woodson indicated that relief might be coming as soon as the third game of the series. Woodson said that Amare Stoudemire may return this series and play Game 3 against the Pacers for New York.
Woodson says Amar’e may play in Game 3. #Knicks
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 4, 2013
This is being met with mixed reaction by Knicks fans as Stoudemire has fallen out of favor with a majority of the base. While some fans are welcoming of the potential offensive production Stoudemire can provide the Knicks, other fans are not sold on his defense and are worried he’ll struggle after missing two months of basketball.
Fans who are worried aren’t wrong for feeling that way. Stoudemire struggled when he played briefly and he’s been sitting on New York’s shelf collecting dust for the past few months. There will be rust to be worn off, and if the Knicks are in a tight series in Game 3, a struggling Amare could end up hurting the Knicks more than he’d help them.
Time will tell if the move will pay off, but for now the Knicks are looking at a Game 3 return for Stoudemire. How much that helps or hurts them is yet to be seen.