It’s been much discussed this summer — Amar’e Stoudemire went down to Houston to learn post moves from the master, Hakeem Olajuwon (following the pattern of a lot of big men).
The idea is that it will provide him more opportunities in the Knicks offense because he’ll space out better with Carmelo Anthony. We’ll see, Tyson Chandler was already hanging out on the block and he seemed to disappear in the playoffs. The spacing will be different, that’s certain. The upside is Stoudemire will have more weapons in his arsenal to turn to when he does get the rock.
What was interesting in Stoudemire talking about his summer with the New York media was why he said he never developed a traditional post game. From the New York Post:
“I’m a player who adapted to the system I played in,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been under D’Antoni for seven, eight years. Post-up wasn’t a factor for us. We were such a high-octane, up-tempo team where speed and quickness was to our advantage. I’m now allowed to develop a post game where my speed and quickness will still be used to my advantage but add a lot of [post] skill.’’
Certainly, classic post play was a limited part of the D’Antoni offense. But as Tom Ziller pointed out on twitter, Stoudemire did have a very good turn and face-up post game before.
Defining post play as only with your back to the basket is kind of like Shaq saying the other day that Dwight Howard is somehow not a real center because he gets a lot of opportunities out of the pick-and-roll — it’s a narrow-minded, dated way of looking at things. What a player should do is what is effective — if you are a dangerous big man on the pick-and-roll and you are playing with Steve Nash, you should run P&R until your legs fall off. Stoudemire’s advantage has long been quickness and athleticism, so to use face-up post moves that allowed him to better use those traits makes sense. As he ages, he’s looking at other options.
What matters is simply how effective it is. We will see how effective Stoudemire can be in the Knicks offense this year.