The New York Knicks need Amare Stoudemire to even compete with the Miami Heat

Amare Stoudemire will be a welcome sight in Gotham.

After eliminating the Boston Celtics 88-80 on Friday night, New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said forward Amare Stoudemire could return to play in Game 3 against the Pacers in Indiana.

The 30-year-old Stoudemire was averaging 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks over 29 games before a cyst burst in his right knee in early March.

Long a gimpy bastard, the six-time All-Star and 2007 All-NBA First Team selection underwent the knife to fix the wound and began participating in full contact practices on Thursday.

Advancing in the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign, the Knicks proved they can thrive sans the 6-foot-11, 245 pound Stoudemire.

Still, despite the thoughts of countless bat caves, New York needs STAT to qualify for the conference finals.

More importantly, if able to overcome a solid Pacers squad, the Knicks simply cannot prevent the Miami Heat from going back-to-back in June without Stoudemire’s scoring production off the bench.

Respecting Miami’s trio of future Hall of Famers, it is difficult to envision New York toppling the Heat under any circumstances.

Nevertheless, with Amare Stoudemire on the hardwood, the New York Knicks can compete with Miami and continue seeking their first crown since 1973.

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