New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire injured his non-shooting hand after the team's Game 2 loss to the Heat and was ridiculed for the bizarre event. Stoudemire was also criticized for bailing out on his team and people were questioning his determination to bring a playoff win to New York.
As a result of the injury, Stoudemire missed Game 3 of the series and saw the Knicks fall to an 0-3 hole for yet another season. However, despite the wrapped up hand, Stoudemire decided to play in Game 4 and help the Knicks avoid a sweep.
Not many people expected Stoudemire to do much in the game, but he proved his critics wrong with 20 points, ten rebounds and a playoff victory. The Knicks beat the Heat 89-87 and snapped an NBA record 13 consecutive post-season losses.
“It was a great win for us, a great win for our fans to finally get over that hump." Stoudemire said [New York Post]. "It makes me feel better that we won. I wanted to play as hard as I could today to help us get the win."
LeBron James also spoke about Stoudemire and said he provided the spark the Knicks needed to win. It was an inspiring performance from Stoudemire and he proved to the world just how focused he is on changing the culture in New York.
The Knicks need another performance like that from Stoudemire when they travel to Miami on Wednesday to play Game 5.