“[The reaction] was great. It lets me know that the fans are still appreciative of the hard work. It was a great ovation, and I love the Phoenix fans forever.” – Amare Stoudemire
In the days leading up to the game, Amare Stoudemire verbally expressed his frustrations with Phoenix sports personalities that had doubted him and management that did not want to make a long-term commitment to him.
Once the action was underway, Amare did the talking with his game as the Knicks blasted the Suns, 121-96.
The former Sun finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds, but more importantly sent a strong message to Suns management.
It is clear that the team has regressed greatly without Stoudemire and the Knicks are now the better team, largely due to Amare taking his talents to the Big Apple.
The popular sentiment around the Association is that Nash should be traded for draft picks and young talent. If any positive can be drawn from last night, it is that this team can be taken off of the trade list for Nash.
Nash will not be shipped off to New York due to the emergence of Raymond Felton. Also in his first season in New York, the point guard is averaging career-highs in nearly every statistical category, including points, assists, steals, and minutes.
Felton had his first career triple-double with the final line of 23 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.
With the presence of an athletic core, Mike D’Antoni, and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks look more look the Suns than the team actually playing in Phoenix does.
Last night, the Suns appeared to be out of sync throughout as they were outscored in every quarter to the visiting Knicks.
The Suns looked small from at the tip, starting the 3 guards and 2 small forwards. They looked even smaller once the game began as the Knicks ran out to a 20-10 lead.
Vince Carter led the scoring with 19 points, yet again making the watching of Suns games somewhat bearable. Nash was spelled often with the game out of hand early, giving way to Goran Dragic who played his best basketball in a while. He scored 17 points, while opening up the court by slashing to the hoop.
Just the other day, we spoke about how bad the state of affairs was in Phoenix currently (link), with losses in eleven of the last fourteen. However, this game may have topped all of the losses due to the Amare factor and the severity of the loss.
Former teammates were nostalgic, recalling fond memories of their playing days with Stoudemire. Hopefully the Phoenix faithful can hold onto those memories, as this whole season has been forgetful.
This was the worst loss at home for Phoenix since 2000 . . . The lineup shake-up did not pan out as Gentry would have liked. Pietrus and Childress combined for just 6 points while guest appearing in the starting lineup . . . Every starter scored in double digits for the Knicks . . . The Knicks edged the Suns from 3-point range, 17-6 . . . The Suns currently are sitting at 14 wins, they had the same total on November 29th last season . . . The last time that Phoenix was this far below .500 was in 2003-04, when they finished with a 29-53 record.