Amar’e Stoudemire returned to MSG Tuesday evening to a chorus of cheers and loud applause. Stoudemire hasn’t played one game this season, since undergoing surgery on October 31. Unfortunately, the Knicks lost 105-100 as Stoudemire came off the bench and began to shake off the rest from his long rehab.
“I was nervous,” said Stoudemire. “My heart was beating fast. I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt like a rookie again. It was very difficult. It was emotional. My family was there for me, my friends were there for me, and my teammates. They all were there, kept me motivated. And so with that being said, allowed me to really have a mindset of perseverance and I was able to persevere through another injury and still be able to hopefully return to dominance.”
Offensively, Amar’e played 17 minutes and scored 6 points on 2-6 shooting. Defense, however, is what his coach Mike Woodson cares about the most.
Woodson said, “My focus is on the defensive end. He’ll figure it out offensively. He’s a pretty good offensive player. He’ll figure that part out as he goes along. Just knowing our defensive schemes and making sure he’s not missing cue in terms of rotations.”
The Knicks will now have to adjust to Stoudemire re-entering into their offensive and defensive scheme, something that they were not able to accomplish last season.