… doctors are largely moving away from microfracture surgery as a means to fixing defects in a player’s cartilage. In the late ’90s and early ’00s, microfracture was a reasonably well-known and often used procedure. But it’s possible that Oden will be the last NBA player we’ll see trying to come back from that surgery.
Under normal circumstances, Jackson wouldn’t be much of a candidate for a team president/general manager role. He has practically no front-office experience, and what little he does have—as the consultant that advised the Detroit Pistons to hire Maurice Cheeks last summer—doesn’t look great on his resume. And he’s 77 years old and moving into a position increasingly dominated by gear-head MIT Sloan Analytics Conference types with MBAs. But this set of circumstances is anything but normal. The Knicks still need salary-cap wizardry, brilliant analysis of player performance, and improved scouting and a long-term vision for rebuilding their roster. But more than that, they need someone with the gravitas to say “no” to Jim Dolan. And no one in basketball—with the possible exception of Bill Russell—can command the same sort of respect as Phil Jackson.
If I was running an NBA team, I’d want no part of Stoudemire. He still has some scoring ability, but he’s an absolute sieve on defense, giving back two baskets for every one he scores. And he’s a particularly bad fit on the Knicks, as his presence on the floor forces Carmelo Anthony to play small forward, where he’s a bit less effective.
But that’s real basketball, where defense and fit and wins and losses all matter. Grade Stoudemire purely for his fantasy potential and the picture is very different. Consider: Mike Woodson has shortened his rotation and returned to a bigger lineup, featuring Stoudemire as a starter. He’s also asking the Knicks to push the ball more, resulting in a faster pace of play. Those are big reasons why Stoudemire is averaging 20 points, seven boards and over 31 minutes in his last two games. Combine that with the fact that nine of New York’s next ten opponents are under .500, and suddenly Amar’e – who is just 48 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues – looks like a really good buy, especially as a short-term substitute what I’m sure is a very competitive league.