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Critical Mass

The question of whether Amar'e Stoudemire is a franchise player has divided basketball fans for years. While his ability to score has never been questioned, critics have always panned Stoudemire for his apparent inability (or unwillingness) to consistently pull down rebounds and play defense.

This season, Phoenix Suns fans find themselves in the odd position of hoping the critics are right. With Stoudemire leaving for New York in the summer, the Suns’ hopes for repeating last season’s exciting playoff run will likely go unfulfilled unless it turns out that the NBA All-Star wasn’t that great after all.

The Valley’s first glimpse of life after Amar'e takes place when the Suns play their preseason home opener against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center.

Tue., Oct. 12, 7 p.m., 2010


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