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Knicks News: Amar'e Stoudemire's Return Will Raise Questions About Role on Team

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Amar'e Stoudemire
#1 of the New York Knicks warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on December 13, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Knicks defeated the Lakers 116-107.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

The New York Knicks are in a good place. The team has been one of the best squads in the NBA early this season, blending perfectly to play as a truly formidable unit.

Carmelo Anthony is the early front-runner for league MVP, Raymond Felton has been a revelation and J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd and Steve Novak have perfectly fit into their respective roles.

So what happens when Amar'e Stoudemire returns? How much will he affect the well-crafted chemistry of this team?

Get ready to find out. Stoudemire could return to practice on Tuesday and play by Friday, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Mike Woodson revealed on Monday that there is a possibility that Amar’e Stoudemire could be cleared to practice on Tuesday.

Stoudemire, who had knee surgery in October and has yet to make his regular season debut, could play as early as Friday against the Chicago Bulls if he resumes practicing with the team. Stoudemire has been working out on his own for weeks and appears to be fit.

Obviously, adding a player of Stoudemire's skill should be a good thing. He may not be the player he once was, but he can still score with the best of them and is certainly a major upgrade from what the Knicks are trotting out at power forward right now.

Besides, there will be those who will wonder how sustainable this recent run of success will be without another top scorer beside Anthony. Felton and Smith are nice players, but surely adding a second, bona fide offensive weapon like Stoudemire will take some pressure off of Anthony.

Or will it? Anthony seems at his best when he can play his way, take a large percentage of a team's shots and focus on his own offense. Yes, he's been less selfish this year, but Melo is still an alpha-dog scorer.

And he and Stoudemire have had issues co-existing in the past. There's no question that they aren't the most compatible offensive duo, and obviously Stoudemire is the more expendable of the two.

So will Stoudemire come off the bench when he returns? Will he recognize the form Anthony has displayed of late and defer to the hot hand? Or will he fall into old rhythms and disrupt the positive flow the team has going right now?

Honestly, I have a feeling he'll be traded before the end of the year. If there is an inkling of an issue of chemistry between the two again, Stoudemire will make like Jeremy Lin and find himself leaving the Big Apple, just you wait and see.

If they can blend—and Stoudemire can stay healthy—it could be brilliant, and these Knicks could be legitimate competition for the Miami Heat in the East. We'll have to wait and see.

No matter what happens, though, it will have to be met with Melo's approval. This is his team now, and he has a scorching hot Knicks team behind him to prove it.

 

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets call Carmelo Anthony Melo Yellow.

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