Since his arrival to North Texas, Amar’e Stoudemire continues to live out of a suitcase, and has been unable to take a wine bath.
“There are no wine baths here in Dallas. I’ve researched that,” he said Monday night when I asked him if he had done that yet since he arrived. “There is nowhere to go.”
Someone in the Mavs’ locker room said he will have to take a Shiner Bath instead (BTW - where can I find that?).
Of the two major acquisitions the Mavs have made this season - trading for point guard Rajon Rondo and signing Stoudemire after he was bought out by the Knicks - the addition of Stoudemire looks to have the greater upside.
As bumpy, and contentious, as Rondo has been the greater problem there is that he simply does not fit the Mavs’ offense. He’s a classic spread the floor and kick point guard in an offense that is rooted in equal distribution. It simply looks as if he needs to be in a different offense whereas Stoudemire is about as good as any Sixth Man could be in any set.
The problem for the Mavs is they need Rondo to make the bigger impact but ultimately it will be Stoudemire because his game is the better fit. In terms of spacing, he just fits whereas Rondo does not.
Stoudemire is the low-post offensive threat the Mavs have not had ... uhh ... anyone? Anyone? He may never be the high-flyer he was early in his career in Phoenix, but he is a guy who score off the low block at the rim.
“He’s a really good player and he is into it,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the Mavs’ win over the Pelicans on Monday night. “I knew how hard it was to game-plan for him this year so I expected him to be good. He’s just a super guy, too. He’s real positive guy in the locker room and in timeouts, and that’s impressive.”
In the four games since signing with the Mavs, Stoudemire is averaging 10.8 points and four rebounds per game. He is not some defensive wizard, but the Mavs knew that when they signed him.
Stoudemire, who can be a free agent after the season, did say that this transition has been different than any other. He has changed teams before - Phoenix to New York - he has never done it during the season. Basketball is basketball, but there is a matter of terminology and knowing your teammates. Those things, especially the latter, take time.
“Yeah, it makes it tough. But when you have veteran players and a veteran coach who has been through this process before it makes it easier for you,” Stoudemire said. “I’ve been blessed; they’ve made it easy for me.”
Stoudemire is unlikely to re-sign with the Mavs after the season, and at 32 he will never command monster cash but if his knees and legs allow it - a big if - he is the type of player who can easily be plugged into any system and provide instant offense with or without wine baths.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760