Report: Knicks expect Amare Stoudemire back Friday

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Got to love New York fans — at first they crow about how much better the team is playing with Amare Stoudemire out and the offense flowing through Carmelo Anthony, then they complain that ‘Melo needs a second scorer to go with him.

Well, love the idea or hate it, looks like the Knicks are going to get Stoudemire back on Friday, reports the New York Post.

And though he has eyed the Knicks’ last-ever visit to New Jersey (Wednesday) as his big return from a bulging disk, the Knicks believe having him back in Cleveland on Friday is more realistic. Stoudemire has had two contact scrimmages, but yesterday’s practice was canceled because the club was beaten up further with Tyson Chandler’s knee injury. That hasn’t helped Stoudemire get into game shape.

Stoudemire will not be in the lineup when the Knicks face the Celtics Tuesday. That will be the 12th game he has missed due to a back injury.

If the Knicks are going to make any splash in the playoffs — whether it is against the Heat, Pacers or Bulls — they are going to need Stoudemire and the threat he provides as a second scoring option. This is ‘Melo’s team now, and Mike Woodson has them playing better defense, but they are going to need Stoudemire. And other guys to step up as well. So he needs to get some games under his belt.