Amar’e Stoudemire’s impact on the Mavs

Amar’e Stoudemire has reportedly committed to signing with the Dallas Mavericks after agreeing to a buyout with the New York Knicks late Sunday night. While nothing is official until he signs on the dotted line with the Mavs, it seems like the Mavs have new firepower coming off the bench.

Is Amar’e Stoudemire the player that put up 25 and 9 for the New York Knicks four years ago? No, but this is the guy that has averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game in 36 appearances this season with a 19.7 PER.While Stoudemire isn’t the defensive presence in the paint the Mavericks have been looking for, he does fill the void left by Brandan Wright, who was traded away in the Rajon Rondo deal. Stoudemire isn’t the athlete Wright is, who can soar for alley-oops on a regular basis nowadays, but he’s still very good in pick and roll situation and provides immediate scoring off the bench.

The Mavericks have seen their bench struggle after the Rondo trade, not only because of Wright’s departure but what his departure did for his running mate, backup point guard Devin Harris. The Mavericks point guard hasn’t been nearly as efficient on offense as early on in the season mainly because he hasn’t had an efficient big man to run the pick and roll since Wright left, now he does. Stoudemire’s presence will make teams respect him off the pick and roll and allow Harris to have more space to operate offensively.

Now you may say well doesn’t Charlie Villanueva spread the floor with his three-point shooting? Well yes but in a different way than Stoudemire will. Harris can be dangerous when driving to the basket and while Charlie V. can shoot lights out during different stretches, he doesn’t create driving lanes for Harris off the pick and roll. Amar’e  can catch and finish around the rim which will compliment Harris’ driving and shooting ability.

Amar’e Stoudemire has shot an effective 54.3 percent from the floor with two-thirds of those shots coming from inside five feet of the basket. Along with his offensive effectiveness, he brings an element that the Mavs have sorely been lacking this season, defensive rebounding. Stoudemire is averaging 6.8 rebounds in just 24 minutes per game and would make himself the second best rebounder on the Mavericks behind Tyson Chandler, who desperately needs help on the boards.

Stoudemire will more than likely see time in the center position as well with Charlie V. and Aminu at power foward depending on the matchup. Point being is Stoudemire’s skills set brings versatility to a Mavs team that needs it at the power forward/center position, badly. Stoudemire can be a big piece to the Mavs potential title run and the fact he’s played with Tyson Chandler with the Knicks before helps his transition that much easier.

With that being said Stoudemire is no guarantee to remain healthy for the remained of the season but I think it’s safe to say the Mavs are confident that they’ll be able to keep him relatively healthy with the help of their training staff.

The Mavs have one of the best training staffs in the entire NBA and is a big reason why Stoudemire chose Dallas over other potential playoff suitors. Tyson Chandler is evidence of that great training staff as his two healthiest seasons in his career have come in his two seasons spent with the Dallas Mavericks.

I still believe the Mavs need another solid center to solidify their rotation and front court when going up the likes of the Grizzlies, Spurs, Trailblazers and the Clippers big front lines.Bernard “Sarge” James did a good job in his one game against the Utah Jazz last week but the front court lines they’ll face in the playoffs will be much improved and experienced then that of the Jazz young big men. In any case Sarge is most certainly an upgrade over Greg Smith who may be the odd man out now that Amar’e will be joining the Mavs roster and that’s yet to be determined.

Stoudemire doesn’t fill all the Mavericks’ problems, but he fills a big one and the Mavericks hope it gets them one step closer to another title run. Stoudemire has a good shot at suiting up Thursday against the Thunder after he signs on Wednesday. Here’s hoping that he does, especially if Tyson Chandler isn’t back healthy coming off that ankle injury.

Welcome to Dallas Amar’e Stoudemire!