The whole notion that Amar'e Stoudemire's return would somehow ruin the New York Knicks' chemistry?
It seems like that can be put to bed.
Stoudemire hasn't just fit in to what the Knicks want to do on offense. Lately, he has been a driving force behind it.
That continued on Wednesday as Stoudemire scored 14 points on 7-for-7 shooing in 21 minutes to help the Knicks overwhelm the struggling Orlando Magic.
"He's playing well and we're playing very well off of him," Carmelo Anthony said of Stoudemire, who has scored in double digits in seven straight games. "He's been very aggressive."
With Stoudemire playing so well of late, the Knicks have gotten a glimpse of the trio of Stoudemire, Anthony and Tyson Chandler at its best.
On Wednesday night, the star trio scored 18 of the Knicks' 28 points in the third quarter as the 'Bockers began pulling away from the Magic.
For Anthony, what happened Wednesday night was a validation of sorts.
Since he landed in New York, Carmelo has insisted he and Stoudemire can thrive together. It certainly didn't happen initially, but thanks in part to Raymond Felton's presence, things are finally seemingly coming together.
"Believe it or not, when I first got here I said this was going to take maybe three years or something like that to get it going, to see what it really can be," Anthony said. "Now we have a season where we can really go through ups and downs and still have a chance to make something happen. You’re seeing it out there on the basketball court. We’re making a lot of things happen offensively, defensively and it opens the game up for everybody."
Entering play Wednesday, the Knicks had outscored opponents by an average of 13.4 points per 48 minutes with Chandler, Stoudemire and Anthony on the floor together.
"The more time that we get to play with one another, the more we learn about one another, the better the chemistry is," said Chandler, who had a team-high 21 points and combined with Stoudemire to shoot 17-of-18.
Stoudemire has made a committed effort to score in the post, which allows Chandler to work as the screener on pick-and-rolls. It also benefits Anthony when Stoudemire draws the attention of the defense in the paint.
"When he catches the ball down there, he's able to produce," Woodson said after his team won for the fifth time in seven games. "That's going to be huge for us down the road."
Will Stoudemire continue to come off the bench in the future? That's a question for another day.
For now, Stoudemire's accepted his role with the bigger picture in mind.
"It's in my DNA: I'm just willing to do whatever it takes to win," Stoudemire said. "I've accomplished a lot in my career so far. The next thing to accomplish is to win a championship. Whatever that takes. Whatever role that I need to step into, I'm totally open to it."