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Amar'e Stoudemire. So much rests on the shoulders of our MAX contract PF anomaly. If anything has become apparent in modern basketball, it is that size and defense win series, win championships, win true admiration and awe from fans and peers alike.

Personally, to say that I'm anxious about Amar'e's tendency to be the antithesis of this prototype, his mental standpoint and understanding of how pivotal his role is would be vastly understating the truth. STAT has lost a lot of die hard followers to at least some capacity this year, and he will win them back by stopping penetration and cleaning the windows.

His role has been defined since Melo's come to form, and his weaknesses unquestionably must now be referred to as his most necessary means for the Knicks' success.



It is a battle of Brain VS Braun.

This, to me, is a stalemate in many ways, but not in others. It's quite the head scratcher to a degree, as they play very similar games in a sense, but have such contrasting mentalities and physicality. Both play from range and can create + penetrate, both are capable of offensive outbursts.

Advantage: Bosh. Barely, if at all. Bosh has the superior facilitators and has a game fashioned to his liking within Miami's system. He is a thinking man's baller - not that the same can be said of Amar'e - and can exploit STAT's defensive shortcomings and draw fouls doing so. He is also less of an offensive focal point for the Heat, and can reserve energy on offense as opposed to Amar'e and can focus more so on taking STAT out of his offensive game.

Amar'e's advantages are strength and, well, nastiness. But that back injury may well take its toll for the second straight season, and his lengthy hiatus, until proven otherwise is a detractor.

Verdict: Unless STAT is ready, I see Bosh's role individually for his team being the Heat's advantage in this matchup. Though nothing is set in stone, Bosh, IMO, has the upper hand because of Wade and James, while Amar'e is our second choice offensively and will tire as well as be forced in to his characteristic offensive mistakes where he tries to do too much. In his defense, however, STAT comes to play when the stakes are highest, though making any predictions with this guy is never based on his previous form. As I said in the opening paragraph, our Max contract, PF anomaly.