Earlier Saturday, my pal Jared Zwerling reported that Amar’e Stoudemire will be hitting the gym for the second straight summer with Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.
Such a report has been met with a bevy of sighs and eye rolls from Knicks fans everywhere. Of course, the fact that STAT is looking to improve his game even further is a positive, but staying healthy would undoubtedly be a plus. What good are other developments if Stoudemire cannot stay healthy enough to capitalize on his new skills?
Perhaps working out with “The Dream” will also help STAT’s conditioning. But as one ponders what will become of the Knicks’ $100 million man next season, there’s also another Knickerbocker big man worth worrying about.
Tyson Chandler was all but non-existen during his team’s playoff run this season on both ends of the floor. Slowed be illness and injuries, it’s easy to figure Chandler, the former “Defensive Player of the Year,” will be able to bounce back on defense.
But it’s time for him to step up and make an elevated effort on the offensive end, too.
Whereas in the beginning of the season, he and Raymond Felton had begun to develop a good rhythm with the pick and roll, Chandler minimized his own offensive output to that of only some tip and tap-backs when going for offensive rebounds. The playoffs were a complete and utter failure for him. Clearly, the Knicks need more from him.
And that’s why perhaps it’s a positive that Chandler may join Stoudemire for workouts with Olajuwon as well. Though STAT’s biggest issue (more so than his efforts on either end of the floor) is staying healthy, there’s no deny he had begun to put on display the very skills that he learned last summer.
In his limited time on the court this season, Stoudemire could be seen attacking the basket even more, and also being efficient by taking care of the ball and posting up defenders as well.
Having relied upon the likes of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith down the stretch in the postseason, the Knicks were left to ride or due based upon their efforts. In need of a more balanced offense, some new feathers in Chandler’s offensive cap may be just what the doctor ordered.