Earlier this season, Heat big man Amar’e Stoudemire commented on retirement, having the following to say:
“For me to still be playing in the league at this point is a blessing,” Stoudemire said back in October. “There’s no telling how much time I’ve got left. Father Time is ticking. My body has been through a lot in my career. This year could be– You just never know what the future holds as far as my career is concerned.”
“All that wear and tear and playing and athleticism and being explosive to the basket, it adds up,” he said. “We’ll see what the math ends up being toward the end of the year.”
After not being part of the Heat’s rotation at the start of the year, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has plugged in the 33-year-old Stoudemire, and he has been very effective since being a regular bench player/starter since Christmas.
Stoudemire is averaging 7.4 points and 5 rebounds over his last five games for the Heat, filling in for Hassan Whiteside, who is dealing with an oblique injury.
“A lot of players kinda forgot that I can still play,” Stoudemire said. “This is a great chance for me to remind them that I’ve still got it.”
Stoudemire has never been labeled as a great defender, and when Stoudemire is on the floor, teams of course look to attack the basket to beat him off the dribble, but his shot chart is pretty solid this year, even though it’s limited action:
“I’ve still got it,” said Stoudemire, who scored 11.5 per game last season with the Mavericks and the Knicks. “I’m not too far removed from doing that. It’s just a matter of finding a nice balance where I can stay consistent.”
Heat guard Dwyane Wade has credited Stoudemire for his strong screens he sets that allow Wade to attack the basket. Wade is averaging 19.8 points over his last five games, shooting strong percentages from the field. Stoudemire is indeed one of the best screen setters on the team.
“We knew what Amar’e was capable of — that never wavered,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said. “Other teams sometimes forget, and that works in our favor. We can use that. He gets down there and surprises them and gets us some points, and it’s huge.”
Stoudemire is overall averaging 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season in an average of 13 minutes of night.
“My body’s been feeling great and strong,” he said. “I feel healthy, my passion is there. If that continues, I’m just gonna feel better and better and I’m gonna play better and better.
“There’s a lot more left in me. No question.”
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