Analysts Weigh In on Getting Anthony and Stoudemire in Sync

After all, and Amar’e Stoudemire, who are the team’s two most essential players and who are in their prime, have not shown they can really click at the same time. For that matter, they have never been in a training camp together.

But they are both on hand now as Coach Mike Woodson begins to put in his new offense. Jason Kidd will mentor Raymond Felton. Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas will be excited to come off the bench, or at least will insist they are. Even Rasheed Wallace, who took a physical last week and is expected to sign with the team and end his retirement, might prove valuable enough by grabbing rebounds and shooting 3-pointers.

Jeremy Lin will not be in Greenburgh, N.Y., for training camp. He is now with the Houston Rockets, who will also hold their media day Monday. No one in the Knicks’ organization has explained for the record why Lin was allowed to depart as a free agent, though Woodson and General Manager Glen Grunwald are expected to do so Monday.

But after questions about Lin are finally addressed, an even bigger one will remain: Can Anthony and Stoudemire, two offense-first forwards, work together to make the Knicks a legitimate contender? When they have been in the starting lineup together, the Knicks have a record of 31-40, including a 1-7 record in the postseason.

“It’s just a tough, tough fit,” said Steve Kerr, an analyst for TNT and the former general manager for the Phoenix Suns, for whom Stoudemire previously played. “Both are used to being the center point of the offense — not really creating, but catching and finishing.”

Phil Jackson, an 11-time champion as an N.B.A. coach, has gone further in his critique, saying last summer that the Knicks were clumsily constructed because of the Anthony-Stoudemire combination.

Shaquille O’Neal, who has four championship rings, seemed skeptical that Anthony and Stoudemire could perform at the level of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the N.B.A.-champion Miami Heat. Chris Webber, a former N.B.A. star and current television analyst, said he doubted Anthony and Stoudemire could play off each other.

“Carmelo is a one-on-one player, and Amar’e needs the ball off the pick-and-roll,” Webber said. “I think what you have to do is delegate possessions.”

Walt Frazier, an analyst on Knicks broadcasts for MSG, wondered if Stoudemire would be willing to come off the bench. Kerr thought that was a logical option.

“It sounds crazy, but maybe you minimize the minutes where they are on the floor together,” he said. “That way, each of them becomes the focal point when they are out there on their own.”

Anthony and Stoudemire are signed through the 2014-15 season. Woodson and Grunwald are clearly hoping that the more experienced players they have brought in will make the Knicks formidable during this two-season window. Woodson said in July that young teams do not usually win N.B.A. titles.

“It will probably be comforting to Amar’e and Carmelo to have veteran guys in the locker room that won’t go off and really don’t care if they lose, say, four or five games in a row,” Webber said. “In a city like New York, you need guys in the locker room that don’t get shaken easily.”

The Knicks won their first playoff game in 11 years last season, an 89-87 victory over the Heat in the first round. For one game, the Knicks showed that maybe there is a blueprint for Anthony and Stoudemire to build on. Anthony scored 41 points in 41 minutes and had 4 assists. In the next game. Stoudemire, returning from a hand injury, had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Kerr wondered if a specified system — maybe the triangle offense that Jackson used in Los Angeles and Chicago — could force ball movement and trust for the Knicks. Jackson did get O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to buy into the triangle, and to believe in each other. The result was three titles.

Webber called the Knicks Anthony’s team. He said Anthony should shoot more than anyone else, and the ball should be in his hands late. To Webber, it’s Stoudemire who should evolve and focus on rebounding.

“It’s not a question, and it’s not even close,” Webber said. “Carmelo is one of the best small forwards the game has ever seen.”

The Knicks are depending on Anthony and Stoudemire for success — more now than ever, in a two-year window.

“You have to consider everything,” Kerr said. “All ideas have to be on the table.”

How Olajuwon Became Invested in the Knicks

The Knicks had just been eliminated by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and Woodson wondered if Olajuwon could help Amar’e Stoudemire with his footwork and low-post moves. When the Knicks did retain Woodson — removing his interim title — and gave him a contract extension, he called Olajuwon again. This time, Woodson was in Houston, ready to execute his plan with Olajuwon.

“I feel so honored that he asked me to help,” Olajuwon said.

Since retiring in 2002, Olajuwon has developed some of the N.B.A.’s best players. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and LeBron James have all flourished under Olajuwon’s tutelage. The lessons have always taken place at Olajuwon’s ranch in Katy, Tex.

Now, for the first time since being available to players during the summer, Olajuwon will travel to a team’s facility to show players his moves. This week, Olajuwon will be in Greenburgh, N.Y., with several Knicks players, including , Tyson Chandler and Stoudemire. He will also be alongside Woodson, the man who persuaded him to make the trip.

Having worked with Stoudemire for more than two weeks this summer, Olajuwon is clearly fully invested in assisting Woodson, and ultimately the Knicks, the team he beat in the N.B.A. finals with the Houston Rockets in 1994.

“It was something I wanted to do for Mike,” Olajuwon said. “It’s always a joy for me to work with current players, especially for guys that you know you can help their careers.”

Woodson and Olajuwon were teammates with the Rockets from 1988 to 1990. Woodson, a veteran at the time, helped the younger Olajuwon mature. Even then, Olajuwon could tell Woodson was interested in coaching once his playing career was over. The two formed a bond, and Olajuwon has watched Woodson become a respected coach in the league.

“Mike showed a flash toward the last part of the season of what he can do,” Olajuwon said, referring to the Knicks’ 18-6 record after Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni in March. “You can tell he is comfortable making the right move to succeed.”

No one in the league will disagree with Woodson’s efforts to develop team chemistry. Earlier this week, Olajuwon said Anthony and Stoudemire would need to complement each other for the Knicks to win. He also said Chandler could be more dominant in the post with more back-to-the-basket moves.

Olajuwon will have the players focus on repetition in their post moves during the pre-training camp workouts.

“I think the team is expecting a lot of itself,” Olajuwon said. “They know they have to accomplish a lot this season.”

At first, Woodson wanted Olajuwon to come to New York during the early part of the off-season to help his three primary frontcourt players. That wasn’t possible, though, once Anthony and Chandler began training with the United States national team in preparation for the Olympics.

But Woodson, in a move that impressed Olajuwon, traveled to Katy in early August to watch Stoudemire’s first few training sessions.

Over dinner, Woodson told Olajuwon about his plans for the season and how he wanted the Knicks’ offense to focus on getting the ball inside. Woodson also saw Stoudemire’s improvement under Olajuwon.

He then asked Olajuwon if he would be interested in teaching Anthony, Chandler and others.

“The ranch is quiet and it’s very comfortable for the players,” Olajuwon said. “But I can understand with the guys coming back from the Olympics, so this time I made the exception to come to New York.”

Olajuwon said he was willing to give the Knicks feedback during the season. He expects the Knicks to progress under Woodson and contend in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will be on Olajuwon’s TV a lot.

“When you work with a player for hours, days and weeks, you want to see them play,” he said. “You want to see how quickly they improve and mature.”

How Hakeem Olajuwon Became Invested in the Knicks

The Knicks had just been eliminated by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and Woodson wondered if Olajuwon could help Amar’e Stoudemire with his footwork and low-post moves. When the Knicks did retain Woodson — removing his interim title — and gave him a contract extension, he called Olajuwon again. This time, Woodson was in Houston, ready to execute his plan with Olajuwon.

“I feel so honored that he asked me to help,” Olajuwon said.

Since retiring in 2002, Olajuwon has developed some of the N.B.A.’s best players. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and LeBron James have all flourished under Olajuwon’s tutelage. The lessons have always taken place at Olajuwon’s ranch in Katy, Tex.

Now, for the first time since being available to players during the summer, Olajuwon will travel to a team’s facility to show players his moves. This week, Olajuwon will be in Greenburgh, N.Y., with several Knicks players, including , Tyson Chandler and Stoudemire. He will also be alongside Woodson, the man who persuaded him to make the trip.

Having worked with Stoudemire for more than two weeks this summer, Olajuwon is clearly fully invested in assisting Woodson, and ultimately the Knicks, the team he beat in the N.B.A. finals with the Houston Rockets in 1994.

“It was something I wanted to do for Mike,” Olajuwon said. “It’s always a joy for me to work with current players, especially for guys that you know you can help their careers.”

Woodson and Olajuwon were teammates with the Rockets from 1988 to 1990. Woodson, a veteran at the time, helped the younger Olajuwon mature. Even then, Olajuwon could tell Woodson was interested in coaching once his playing career was over. The two formed a bond, and Olajuwon has watched Woodson become a respected coach in the league.

“Mike showed a flash toward the last part of the season of what he can do,” Olajuwon said, referring to the Knicks’ 18-6 record after Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni in March. “You can tell he is comfortable making the right move to succeed.”

No one in the league will disagree with Woodson’s efforts to develop team chemistry. Earlier this week, Olajuwon said Anthony and Stoudemire would need to complement each other for the Knicks to win. He also said Chandler could be more dominant in the post with more back-to-the-basket moves.

Olajuwon will have the players focus on repetition in their post moves during the pre-training camp workouts.

“I think the team is expecting a lot of itself,” Olajuwon said. “They know they have to accomplish a lot this season.”

At first, Woodson wanted Olajuwon to come to New York during the early part of the off-season to help his three primary frontcourt players. That wasn’t possible, though, once Anthony and Chandler began training with the United States national team in preparation for the Olympics.

But Woodson, in a move that impressed Olajuwon, traveled to Katy in early August to watch Stoudemire’s first few training sessions.

Over dinner, Woodson told Olajuwon about his plans for the season and how he wanted the Knicks’ offense to focus on getting the ball inside. Woodson also saw Stoudemire’s improvement under Olajuwon.

He then asked Olajuwon if he would be interested in teaching Anthony, Chandler and others.

“The ranch is quiet and it’s very comfortable for the players,” Olajuwon said. “But I can understand with the guys coming back from the Olympics, so this time I made the exception to come to New York.”

Olajuwon said he was willing to give the Knicks feedback during the season. He expects the Knicks to progress under Woodson and contend in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will be on Olajuwon’s TV a lot.

“When you work with a player for hours, days and weeks, you want to see them play,” he said. “You want to see how quickly they improve and mature.”