The Amar’e Stoudemire era is over for the Phoenix Suns and unfortunately it is not a good thing. You can put all the emphasis you want on how the team will now be better defensively and how his scoring can be picked up by other players. However, this new Suns team will not be as good as it was with Amar’e. Losing Amar’e will deplete the Suns of their offensive power and even though STAT is known for not playing D, this past season we saw improvement.
What is the easiest shot to make in a game? The one that is closest to the basket meaning a layup or dunk: Hence, a shot in the paint. This is where STAT will be missed the most. He was the Suns inside presence, a presence that, at times, could not be stopped. His offense revolves around getting shots at the rim although he throws in an occasional jumper. He is efficient at what he does. Some players require 15+ shots to get 20pts. not Amar’e.
Stat’s ability to score in the paint opened up the floor for shooters by commanding attn from every player on the opposing team by commanding double teams and at times triple teams. Without an inside presence opposing teams will now be able to focus more on the shooters and take Phx out of their game. Sure they have many shooters, but remember, jump shots do not always fall.
Amar’e and Defense are two things never known to go together unless you are talking about the lack of. But you can’t blame him for this; D’antoni never practiced Defense. This past season we saw a huge transformation with Amar’e. He was teamed up with a coach he had a good relationship with and that coach preached defense out of his team. After amar’e’s first season learning to play D, we as fans witnessed him improve somewhat. So is there a possibility that, had he stayed, we could have seen him become the defender we always thought he could be?
So this is how it ends: a successful season, a trip to the WCF and now the Amar’e Stoudemire era is done. Amar’e and his “Bully Ball” mentality will now serve some other team. Be prepared, because in the first meeting between the Suns and Amar’e next season, he will explode for career highs in an attempt to make a statement.