The Miami Heat took a 2-0 series lead over the New York Knicks on Monday night by winning Game 2 of their first round playoff series, 104-94. As the night went along, the game itself would only be a secondary story. After the game, Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire decided to punch a fire extinguisher glass door, suffering a laceration on his left (non-shooting) hand. He left American Airlines Arena with his left arm in a sling and he will miss Game 3 on Thursday night in New York City. Stoudemire’s status for beyond Game 3 is still in doubt. The first question that comes to mind is what the hell was Stoudemire thinking. There are so many things that you can do to let out your frustration. Punching a fire extinguisher glass door is one of those things you would not do. We have all done some stupid things in our lives that we wish we can take back, but you have be able to turn the other cheek and think about the people and the feelings you may effect with your actions. It’s perfectly clear that Stoudemire let his emotions get the best of him, and the result of his actions can be long lasting. Let’s start with the short term. As stated earlier, Stoudemire will be out for Game 3 on Thursday night and may be out for the rest of the series. It was already going to be difficult enough to beat the Heat with the services of Stoudemire, and they’re already down 2-0. With him out for the short term, it makes it that much tougher. While it’s the short term we want to look at right now, the long term effects may become ever so telling. Obviously Stoudemire is not a happy person right now, but the reasons why are starting come out. If you look at what has happened since Stoudemire was signed by the Knicks for 5 years and $100 million, he has went from the franchise player to almost an afterthought with the additions of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. When you look at the Knicks play, it’s almost like Stoudemire is struggling to find where exactly he fits into the grand scheme of things. It’s apparent that Anthony is the franchise player and it shows on the court, and that can’t sit well with a guy who was brought in to be the center piece of an return to dominance for Knicks basketball. Throw in there the injury issues and the death of his brother in a car accident, and you have a man who could bubble over with his frustrations. I think the boiling point came after Game 2 because of the way the game went down. In my opinion, you don’t have to look any further then the box score after Monday’s game. Anthony took 26 shots to Stoudemire’s 9. There’s no balance there and Stoudemire is a guy who has to be engaged in what’s going on out there. I can’t say I blame Stoudemire for being frustrated, but you have to find a way to deal with those feelings better than he did. You can’t screw the team over because of your own frustrations. What Stoudemire did was really selfish, but I think his actions are part of a bigger picture. No matter what happens in this series with the Heat, there are some things that will need to be addressed in the off-season for the Knicks. One of those things is what to do with Stoudemire. It doesn’t appear that this experiment with Stoudemire and Anthony will work, unless they somehow convince Phil Jackson to coach this team. It’s just sad to see a guy let his emotions get the best of him. Hopefully, Stoudemire can see that his actions do affect others, and it’s a painful lesson in more ways than one.
By Charles Taylor