Stoudemire is reason to mess with success
Why mess with success? I have been hearing that a lot this week. The Cavaliers have won 13 in a row and for most that run they have been without Mo Williams or Delonte West. Heck, Leon Powe hasn’t even played yet. J.J. Hickson has put up some big numbers the last few weeks and he is only 20 years old. The Cavs are 4-0 against the Magic and Lakers. So why would the team consider making a trade?
I guess that is a natural reaction. Life is good so why take on the unknown?
During the weekend, rumors grew intense the Cavs had focused on Amar’e Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns.
Stoudemire is a 6-foot-10 power forward. He is five-time All-Star. He is currently averaging about 21 points and nine rebounds per game.
As TNT’s Charles Barkley said playing Stoudemire along side LeBron James would be “scary”.
And yet I have been hearing a lot of local people saying they don’t want Stoudemire.
I had one gentleman call the paper just to vent about the possibility like I have the ability to sway the Cavs one way or the other.
The reasons for not wanting Amare appear to be the following:
— We have won 13 in a row.
— Stoudemire and Shaq didn’t get along in Phoenix.
— Stoudemire doesn’t play defense.
— Stoudemire has bad knees and a bad eye.
— Z is loyal and we can’t trade
— I like J.J. Hickson and he is young.
—The Cavs have great chemistry and you don’t mess with that.
And to all those reasons, I say “Are you serious?”
You don’t want a young, still in his prime All-Star for those reasons.
Regular season wins mean little. The Cavs beat the Spurs twice the year San Antonio swept them in the Finals. The 2008 Houston Rockets won 22 games in a row. They ran the streak up even after Yao Ming got hurt. They lost in the first round of
Stoudemire, on his twitter, refuted that Shaq and he didn’t play well together. The truth is Stoudemire’s numbers went up when Shaq arrived. His numbers went down the next season when Terry Porter took over and made a mess of the team. Porter wanted to take a running team and pound the ball inside to Shaq. Not a worry here in Cleveland.
It was said Mo Williams didn’t play defense before he was traded here. Defense is a team concept. If Stoudemire wants a title and a max contract, trust me, he will improve his defense. In Phoenix, defense isn’t preached.
All players sustain injuries. It looked like Z’s career was over more than a decade ago. Stoudemire is healthy now and just entering his prime.
I love Z as much as the next guy, but you play to win the game. Z is a part-time player now. He can’t bang inside much. He has become mostly a jump shooter. Hickson could become a very good NBA player, but honestly I can’t see him playing major minutes in this year’s playoffs. His defense comes and goes. I would hesitate to trade the youngster for someone else, but for Stoudemire, I have no hesitation.
As for chemistry, the Cavs might have had the best chemistry in the league last season and how far did that get them? Having a chance to win a championship does wonders for chemistry? Would there be growing pains with a major trade? Sure, but having a seven-game lead in the race for home court in the East buys the team some time to work that out.
Now, do I just blindly pull the trigger, of course not? I would try to get Stoudemire to sign an extended contract. Most of the teams in the league are leveraging for 2010 to get LeBron plus another NBA All-Star. But with the economy and the shrinking cap, it is looking harder and harder to do. Trading for Stoudemire gives the Cavs an edge to get it done. The chances of Shaq and Z being in Cleveland next season are slim. It could happen, but I doubt either man will give a discount. You can’t pay either for past efforts. Signing Stoudemire long term gives LeBron a chance to compete for title every year. You also need to do your homework that Stoudemire is willing to do what needs to get done.
There are reasons not to make this deal, but none of them are the ones being listed by fans.
If LeBron and Danny Ferry are convinced Stoudemire will buy in, then trading Hickson, Z and whatever other beads are needed to throw in. That is a no-brainer. The truth is that so far, Cavs have achieved nothing. Bringing in Stoudemire gives them a better chance to win the title, this year and in the future.
Reposted from www.MorningJournal.com