Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 8/21/12


It's safe to say that Amar'e Stoudemire's first two seasons with the New York Knicks have been filled with their share of ups and downs.

After displaying M.V.P. like dominance during his first season in the Big Apple, a mix of personal issues and injuries led to Stoudemire facing much adversity during the 2011-12 campaign.

What's more, after having played with steady floor generals like Steve Nash and Raymond Felton in the past, Stoudemire also struggled to get into a rhythm offensively last season as his team took nearly half the season to settle on a consistent starting point guard.

This is because much of the big man's offensive success has thus far appeared dependent on an effective pick and roll. Not one to create opportunities for himself, Stoudemire thrives next to a point guard who knows how and where to hit him with the ball in the right spots.

But that same dependency seems like it'll come to an end as the Knicks star looks to expand his skill set for next season. Appearing at "Barnes & Noble" in New York City to promote the first book of his new children's book series ("STAT: Standing Tall and Talented #1: Home Court"), Stoudemire spoke to KnicksJournal.com and other members of the media about his latest workouts with Hakeem Olajuwon.

While Mike D'Antoni made Stoudemire look good in his run and gun offense, STAT stressed the importance of playing well in the post if he wanted to continue being a major component of the Knicks' offense under Coach Mike Woodson.

The big man explained, "Coach Woodson's style of play includes an inside/outside type game, so it was important for him to develop me as a post player. I was willing and ready. It adds a new threat to my game, because it helps me become more of a complete basketball player."

Despite adding different facets to his game, Stoudemire didn't sound as though he'd be a fish out of water in the "new" offense. He added, "We'll still have pick and rolls. That's the number one play in the NBA. I still plan on being a factor for our team in that sense. That said, having a post game is going to be that much more of an advantage for me. With my quickness, size, and skill set, I'm able to finish around the basket with both hands and shoot the jumper. All that often creates havoc for opponents."

Being able to dominate the game with his back to the basket at times will certainly lead to Stoudemire taking his time to create opportunities for himself around the hoop. Having such versatility is sure to elevate the big man's game. In fact, Stoudemire believes these same post moves will help Coach Woodson create a balance in the team's offensive flow, thus getting the most out of both STAT and Carmelo Anthony.

Addressing how he and Anthony will complement each other next season, Stoudemire said, "I think Coach Woodson wants to make sure he takes full advantage of both of our talents. Carmelo and I have been two of the top players in the league for almost ten years now, so as a coach you're going to want to get the most out of those weapons in your arsenal."

Ready to bounce back from an underwhelming season, Stoudemire seemed to promote that he is not a changed player, just more so simply an elevated one. The big man firmly asserted, "There were a lot of things that Hakeem and and I talked about and worked on. That's for me to know and the rest of the guys to soon see. I'm looking forward to showing my opponents."
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