Coming off of a sub-par season, Amar’e needs to figure out a way to shut the critics up. The critics say that STAT has lost his explosiveness, his quickness, and his overall game. Going into the off-season, Amar’e decided to add to his versatile arsenal and start training early. Mike Woodson suggested developing a post-game. Amar’e, a student of the game, agreed to develop some post-moves to catch other PF’s off guard. Woodson hooked STAT up with a referral to Post-University in Houston where he will be learning from Professor Olajuwon.
Summer Course: Post Moves 101
With Stoudemire needing to develop a post game, who is better to teach him than the master of the post? Hakeem Olajuwon is the best post-center of all time. His footwork and agility propelled him to be one of the best centers in NBA history. Hakeem’s post moves are so good, that even other players of different positions want to learn them from him (Kobe and LeBron). Hakeem, for his day, was considered an undersized center, so he used his quickness to get around defenders. Amar’e can compare to this in today’s game because STAT is faster than most power-forwards. Going against PFs such as Dirk Nowitzky, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Pau Gasol, Stoudemire has the advantages of quickness and strength: two keys to learn Olajuwon’s post-moves. The main key to learning “the Dream’s” post-moves is footwork. To become a good post-player, footwork is the focal point. With STAT having a post-game, a mid-range jump shot and explosive quickness, he can become a dominant force again this season. Along with these post-moves, Olajuwon used his basketball I.Q. to develop counter-moves. With STAT learning from Olajuwon, STAT can become a smarter player on and off the court. Every post-move comes with a counter, when the defense adjusts to the move. With these counter-moves, STAT can read the defense better and catch defenders off guard. From the videos put on YouTube, STAT looked very quick on spin moves and his jump shot looks consistent. He looks ready to get back on the court and prove the critics wrong.
Next Lesson: Defense
Along with learning post moves and developing a complete game, Amar’e went to Hakeem to get better defensively. Hakeem is sometimes underrated when it comes to defense. However, “the Dream” is the all time leader in blocked shots in NBA history. Hakeem’s footwork came in handy on the defensive end, which allowed him to guard all five positions, easily. For example, in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, on a pick & roll play, Olajuwon easily switched onto John Starks and came up with the game-winning block. Hakeem can teach Amar’e footwork and the art of playing good defense as a big-man. Hakeem also used his quickness to get into passing lanes and create some steals. STAT knows that defense wins championships and Hakeem earned two rings because of his defense. If Hakeem teaches STAT his keys to playing championship defense, STAT can definitely lock up any PF in the game. In order for the Knicks to become better defensively, their first star (STAT) needs to step up defensively. If anyone can teach Stoudemire defense, it should be the best defensive center of all time.
Class Dismissed, Time to be Tested
With Amar’e leaving Houston, it’s time to see if Olajuwon’s teaching helped STAT. With STAT going to “Dream School,” the Knicks can play an inside-outside game. The Knicks can switch up plays for STAT now: go to him in the post or run a pick & roll play for him. The Knicks can give Melo and STAT their separate blocks since both can post up now, and they can have Chandler at the free throw line or in the post sometimes. The Knicks, since STAT went to train with “the Dream,” have a number of options on the offensive end. Also, STAT and the Knicks coaching staff should recognize and read the scouting reports of the PFs’ for every game. Based on the scouting report, STAT should have a game plan such as, post-play or facing-up. This has been the best thing that STAT has done for the team since his arrival to Broadway in 2010. By doing this, STAT has revealed to his fans that he wants to improve his overall game and wants to have an explosive NBA season. Also, not only has STAT learned footwork and some basic, but effective, post moves, but Amar’e has learned discipline and defense from Professor Olajuwon. Amar’e, from the videos on YouTube, looks like he did in 2010 and based on what I have seen, I can say, “Knicks fans, STAT is finally back.”