Amar’e Stoudemire Expects to Start Dominating Again

by February 29, 2012

Amar’e Stoudemire has had a subpar season so far, but he says that he’s ready to break out. Which the New York Knicks are desperately counting on in the second half of the year. From Newsday: “He expects himself and the Knicks to be a force over the final 31 regular-season games and in the playoffs. ‘We feel that we have enough on this team to win a championship,’ Stoudemire said after practice Tuesday. ‘We have the right personnel, the right players and the right mind frame. It’s a matter of us going out and playing the right way. And if we do that, we can do something special.’ […] He’s averaging 17.5 points, shooting 44.7 percent and hasn’t been finishing around the rim the way he did in the past. When asked if he could get his explosiveness back, Stoudemire said: ‘Stay tuned. Stay tuned.’ He and coach Mike D’Antoni pointed out several reasons why the Knicks’ big man doesn’t look like the same player he was last season. It wasn’t mentioned, but the emotional strain of losing his older brother in a car wreck this month undoubtedly has had some effect on him. Stoudemire spent most of the offseason strengthening his back to try to prevent some issues he had last year. He said he wasn’t cleared to play full-court ‘until a little bit before training camp,’ and his rhythm has suffered. He also added about 15 pounds of muscle and came into this season at about 260; he played at 245 last season. D’Antoni has talked to Stoudemire about ‘getting his pop back.’ Stoudemire said he’s been shedding some of that weight, hoping it helps his mobility. ‘All of that might have played a factor,’ Stoudemire said. ‘There’s no excuse for that. I wanted to get stronger. I wanted to definitely heal my back. From a health standpoint, I feel great, but now it’s time to tune it up a little bit and play great basketball.'”