SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Amar'e Stoudemire

On Tuesday, "First Take" debated Amare Stoudemire's impending return to the Knicks. The team has been playing pretty well without him, actually, which brings up the all-important idea of chemistry over talent. Tim Legler would bring Stoudemire off the bench due to the fact that he doesn't fit in the Knicks' successful smaller lineup, while Skip Bayless is of the opinion that Amare would be an asset in the playoffs. What's your take?

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On Tuesday, "First Take" debated the fate of the Knicks without Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire has been lost "indefinitely" with a bulging disk in his lower back, while Jeremy Lin is day to day with a sore right knee. The Knicks are just barely in the playoff picture right now, and despite a two-game winning streak, injuries could leave them on the outside looking in come playoff time. What's your take?

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Clutch young stars?

We know we've been writing a lot about Jeremy Lin, but he just doesn't stop with this whole emergence-as-a-breakout-star thng. He hit a last-second 3 last night to beat the Raptors, which reminds us of another young star who had a knack for coming through in the clutch.

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Better teammates?

It's not just a one-man show in either New York or Denver. Jeremy Lin's going to have two of the finest players in the NBA by his side when Carmelo Anthony comes back to join Amare Stoudemire, and Tim Tebow can rely on Elvis Dumervil and company to keep it close on defense.

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Anthony or Lin?

Lin's hit just one game-winning shot, and the Knicks usually go to Carmelo Anthony when things are on the line. When Anthony comes back, however, should the Knicks stick with what's been working at the end of games?

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Will the new combo work?

The Knicks have become Jeremy Lin's team in the time Carmelo Anthony has been out, but Anthony insists that when he takes the reins back, he and Lin won't have a problem coexisting.

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Who will benefit?

Amare Stoudemire returns tonight after missing a week for his brother's funeral. He and Anthony have made a competitive pair, but will he get more out of the new-look Knicks than Carmelo?

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Are the Knicks contenders?

Lin's emergence has helped the Knicks stay in the race during the absence of their two big stars, but they're still under .500 in a shortened season. Will they make the playoffs?

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Which teams rule the NBA? Our experts give you their take on basketball's balance of power each week with the ESPN.com Power Rankings, but that's only part of the equation. Which teams do you believe are the contenders and pretenders?

Click the logos below to set your rankings!

NBA Power Rankings

76ers

76ers

Philadelphia 76ers
19-9

Bobcats

Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats
3-24

Bucks

Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks
12-15

Bulls

Bulls

Chicago Bulls
23-7

Cavaliers

Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers
10-16

Celtics

Celtics

Boston Celtics
15-12

Clippers

Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers
17-8

Grizzlies

Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies
14-14

Hawks

Hawks

Atlanta Hawks
18-10

Heat

Heat

Miami Heat
21-7

Hornets

Hornets

New Orleans Hornets
4-23

Jazz

Jazz

Utah Jazz
14-12

Kings

Kings

Sacramento Kings
10-17

Knicks

Knicks

New York Knicks
13-15

Lakers

Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers
16-12

Magic

Magic

Orlando Magic
17-11

Mavericks

Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks
17-11

Nets

Nets

New Jersey Nets
8-21

Nuggets

Nuggets

Denver Nuggets
16-12

Pacers

Pacers

Indiana Pacers
17-10

Pistons

Pistons

Detroit Pistons
8-21

Raptors

Raptors

Toronto Raptors
9-20

Rockets

Rockets

Houston Rockets
16-12

Spurs

Spurs

San Antonio Spurs
19-9

Suns

Suns

Phoenix Suns
12-15

Thunder

Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder
21-6

Timberwolves

Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves
13-15

Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers
15-13

Warriors

Warriors

Golden State Warriors
10-14

Wizards

Wizards

Washington Wizards
6-22

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A serious injury for Carmelo?

The Knicks will have to make do without the services of Carmelo Anthony for one to two weeks, as he strained his right groin in Monday night's win over the Jazz.

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A rising star in Jeremy Lin?

At least temporarily, the Knicks will be able to rely on Jeremy Lin, whose emergence in the past two games had some at Madison Square Garden chanting "MVP!"

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Can the Knicks rebound?

That being said, the Knicks are in a precarious position -- 10-15, terrible on the road and facing a potential skid without their star player.

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Are Carmelo and Amare the answer?

Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were supposed to make New York a contending team, but it hasn't worked out that way so far.

SportsNation

Which teams rule the NBA? Our experts give you their take on basketball's balance of power each week with the ESPN.com Power Rankings, but that's only part of the equation. Which teams do you believe are the contenders and pretenders?

NBA Power Rankings

76ers

76ers

Philadelphia 76ers
17-7

Bobcats

Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats
3-21

Bucks

Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks
10-13

Bulls

Bulls

Chicago Bulls
20-6

Cavaliers

Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers
9-13

Celtics

Celtics

Boston Celtics
13-10

Clippers

Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers
14-7

Grizzlies

Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies
12-12

Hawks

Hawks

Atlanta Hawks
16-8

Heat

Heat

Miami Heat
18-6

Hornets

Hornets

New Orleans Hornets
4-20

Jazz

Jazz

Utah Jazz
13-9

Kings

Kings

Sacramento Kings
8-15

Knicks

Knicks

New York Knicks
9-15

Lakers

Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers
14-10

Magic

Magic

Orlando Magic
15-9

Mavericks

Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks
14-11

Nets

Nets

New Jersey Nets
8-17

Nuggets

Nuggets

Denver Nuggets
15-9

Pacers

Pacers

Indiana Pacers
16-7

Pistons

Pistons

Detroit Pistons
6-20

Raptors

Raptors

Toronto Raptors
8-17

Rockets

Rockets

Houston Rockets
13-11

Spurs

Spurs

San Antonio Spurs
16-9

Suns

Suns

Phoenix Suns
9-14

Thunder

Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder
18-5

Timberwolves

Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves
12-12

Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers
14-10

Warriors

Warriors

Golden State Warriors
8-13

Wizards

Wizards

Washington Wizards
4-20

Your Rankings

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