Why you so nasty, Amar'e Stoudemire?



For whatever reason, "why you so nasty, Amar'e Stoudemire(notes)?" didn't make the final cut as the Wall Street Journal's eventual title in its must-read breakdown of the Knicks big man. But even a respected outlet like WSJ has to admit that this is a question that needs to be asked.

Along with the question that the Journal did end up asking: Why is Amar'e Stoudemire so hard to defend?

It's a fair query. Stoudemire doesn't exactly blend trickeration and sleight of hand on his way to 25 or 30 points per game, he generally just uses the triple-threat position to his advantage, usually starting from the pinch post. But why let me tell you all about this, when you can hear the breakdown from a man who counts English as a second language?

Via WSJ:

So what is it like to guard Mr. Stoudemire? The player who has faced him most this season is 24-year-old rookie Timofey Mozgov(notes), who faces Mr. Stoudemire every day in practice.

Typically, for Mr. Mozgov, it plays out like this: Mr. Stoudemire will catch an entry pass and turn around almost immediately, quicker than any other big man. Then he will fake a shot twice, flinch, maybe flash a smile and then, eventually, and unpredictably, he will start to move toward the basket.

"Even if you're ready," Mr. Mozgov said. "There's nothing to do."

Once there, Mr. Stoudemire is known as a ferocious dunker. He is tied for the NBA lead with 53.

If anything, Mr. Stoudemire deserves credit for utilizing the same tricks to his advantage that some of the best NBA guards have banked on since the NBA started enforcing hand check calls more often in 2004-05. Like a Dwyane Wade(notes), Russell Westbrook(notes), or Chris Paul(notes), Amar'e knows that he can't really be touched if he faces up and drives to the basket, so he uses that space for the eventual pull-up jumper, or uses an illegal pair of hands to get to the line and pile up the freebies.

As someone who watched way too much basketball in the ugly outset of the 21st century, I'm all for it. And Knicks fans, who are enjoying their team's finest run since the outset of the 21st century, aren't far behind.

And, at 26 points per game on 53 percent shooting, with a 79 percent mark from the free throw line, Amar'e has just about made this league his absolute creature this season. And, by my count, Steve Nash(notes) hasn't passed the ball to him a single time all season.