The reunion of Mike D’Antoni and Amar’e Stoudemire will definitely bring back memories of their glory days with the Phoenix Suns and maybe bring some tears as they reminisce together. Those days, unfortunate for Coach D’Antoni, are long behind us but fortunately enough, a huge chunk of that success has arrived in the Big Apple donning the familiar #1 jersey ready to tear up the paint with an offensive superstrike. Sure, he’s no LeBron but he may be the exact ingredient that the Knicks so desperately needed for the past decade, a star in his own right who would fill up Madison Square Garden and finally light up the fuse that this arena has been craving since the good old days of Allan Houston, LJ, Sprewell and of course, Patrick Ewing. Additionally, D’Antoni’s run and gun offense isn’t unfamiliar to Stoudemire which bodes well for the team.
Although Stoudemire’s huge output per game is almost guaranteed, the Knicks’ success will have to be derived from the supporting cast. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler certainly have the capability to easily pour in 20+ points in a single game and possibly more on a very good night. Toney Douglas showed potential last season as a starter replacing Chris Duhon at the point for a significant portion of the season and looks to come off the bench strong this year. Douglas will be second string to the newly acquired Raymond Felton, who was a part of a very successful Charlotte Bobcats team last season, but only time will tell just how effectively he can helm D’Antoni’s fast paced offense. Much of Stoudemire’s offense relies on the pick n’ roll and in Phoenix, he was fortunate to be on Steve Nash’s receiving end. It is still a mystery how well Felton can bring that same sort of genius to the Knicks’ offense and how well Stoudemire will adjust to playing without Nash. Finally, the absence of David Lee may be more of a loss than the Knicks’ had hoped for. All in all, the Knicks’ season is full of uncertainties but unlike previous seasons, Knicks fans finally have something to hope for.