Despite getting one of the league’s top offensive players back from injury, New York was doing just fine without him. Led by Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith in the forward’s absence, the Knicks got off to a hot start and had Madison Square Garden buzzing on a nightly basis.
Now, with another piece to add to the puzzle, head coach Mike Woodson certainly has his work cut out for him. Considering how well the team looked without its $20 million forward, though, the coach should be empowered to ease Stoudemire back into things — even if the forward doesn’t like it.
In New York, the people demand results. So if the first game with Amar’e back is any indication … well, then things could be getting very interesting in the Big Apple shortly.