Shooting well. Has more range than given credit for. Dropped a few 3s in some games. A back to the basket turn around would add a lot to his game as a scorer and a passer.

Handle is solid. Ambidexterity not at Lee's level, but the force he creates in motion with the ball is unbelievable.

Passing is much better than I thought. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Nash's dominance of the ball in Phoenix, as the league's best passer, was the reason STAT was perceived as less of a passer/sharer of the ball.

Setting Picks. Where is the pick and roll game for STAT? Felton's capable. Amar'e's unstoppable in motion. Not too sure what to make of D'Antoni's lack of using the P&R. Saving it for the season? Can't see the point!

Offensive Rebounding. As one of the league's most athletic and explosive bigs, STAT has to do the windows on offense. He's capable of 3-4 ORPG against any defence if he's close to the hoop. Rebounding is his fatal flaw. 8.9 RPG last season with Phoenix, we'll need between that and 11/ to make the playoffs.

Defence. It's spelled with a 'c' where I'm from. Get over it, it's a letter.

Awareness is reasonable. Has a good feel for movement and continuity off the ball. Communicates with teammates well. Still, he's not an All Star because of it.

Man to man. Not bad. Keeps an eye on the ball. Needs to keep a hand on his man more. Needs to add intimidation to the psychological side of defence one on one. He talks smack apparently, but physicality speaks a lot louder than any trash you deal out.

P&R. Actually quite good. He's nimble for his size and presents more of a problem than a lot of power players on switches. When switching to PGs, Amar'e's done well. Felton is NOT defending the P&R as well as he should. Douglas is.

Defensive Rebounding = S.H.I.T. That's a bit rough, but compare his output to his ability, and he's running at 30-40%. Strong, athletic, jumps like a cerval and has great hands. Against Toronto, I was dumbfounded as I watched him stand alone in the paint and literally watch the ball carom to the other team in the 3rd. If STAT wants playoffs, he'll find them on the boards. He has to be challenged by the media to pursue rebounds. NY has to collectively force him in to wanting every missed shot. Therein lies + .500 and the 7th or 8th seed.

Amar'e could well be a top 3 scorer this year. Especially with James and Wade detracting from one another's point totals.

Look for STAT to make the all NBA second team this year. Hopefully he shines enough to make the first.

In his first year as the sole focal point of a team, he's going to shine. So far, rebounding and cohesion with teammates are the only concerns for Amar'e. Injury is always a lurking threat, but STAT has played in at least 79 games the past 4 seasons after a second invasive knee surgery and a corneal rapture.


Standing Tall And Talented