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Friday, April 19, 2013
Opening Tip: Should STAT return during playoffs?

By Ian Begley

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Do you want to see Amar'e Stoudemire return during the postseason?

Amar'e Stoudemire's doing everything he can to return to the court.

Stoudemire thinks there's even a chance he can return in the first round of the playoffs.

"You never know, man. The Most High sometimes touches me and I heal up fast so hopefully that happens again," Stoudemire said on Thursday at the premier of his documentary, "Amar'e Stoudemire: In The Moment," which will debut on EPIX on Friday.

Do you hope to see Stoudemire back during the playoffs?

The answer to that question would seem to be a resounding yes, at first glance.

After all, Stoudemire is a 6-10 scorer and solid rebounder, so you'd think he can help the Knicks on the front line.

What NBA team wouldn't want a player with that profile in its lineup?

But it's not that simple with Stoudemire and the Knicks.

First, consider that Stoudemire's return could mean fewer minutes for Carmelo Anthony at power forward. Anthony's put up MVP-type numbers at power forward this season.

Then, remember that the Knicks finished the season 17-6 after Stoudemire underwent surgery to clear out debris in his right knee. Kenyon Martin, Stoudemire's replacement at power forward, played a key role in that strong finish.

On top of that, there's the issue of rust. It took Stoudemire six to eight games to get his rhythm back in January when he first returned from knee surgery. Will he need six to eight games to get his rhythm back this time around as well? Can the Knicks afford to have Stoudemire finding his touch while they're trying to win a playoff game?

These are the things that factor in to Stoudemire's return. So you'd think that the Knicks would love to have a 6-10 low-post threat in the lineup. But, with Stoudemire, it's not that simple.

Today's Burning Question: Do you want to see Amar'e Stoudemire return during the postseason?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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