Friday December 6th, 2013

Gather round and cherish this moment, friends. It's not often that Amar'e Stoudemire makes a defensive rotation punctual enough to make a difference, and even rarer that he does so in such demonstrative fashion. But Stoudemire absolutely got the best of Brooklyn's Joe Johnson  on this particular shot attempt, in one of the many Knicks bright spots during their 113-83 pounding of the Nets on Thursday night.

And to think: Such plays used to be a nightly occurrence for Amar'e. Twice in Stoudemire's career he averaged 1.9 blocks per game or more, as he was in better, springier position to punctuate a defensive sequence, even as he struggled to execute its finer points. That athleticism is gone, Stoudemire's minutes have dwindled (by doctor recommendation), and the once-routine blocks have dissipated. This was just Stoudemire's second block of the 2013-14 season thus far, making him one of a select group of forwards and centers to swat shots so infrequently in 175 minutes or more. Other names on that list: the ground-bound Glen Davis, Zach Randolph, and Reggie Evans. This is the company that Stoudemire now keeps, and it's more than a bit depressing. But enjoy this noteworthy moment that shouldn't be, as Stoudemire cranks up his blocks-per-36-minutes average to 0.4 for the season. It's not Amar'e's fault that his career has been taken out at the knees, though it's harrowing all the same to see the one-time skyscraper in even more diminished form than in years prior.

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