Amare vs Yao, who do you take?




Stoudemire's surge opens draft debate

Amaré may have been best pick from 2002

Paul Coro
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 17, 2007 12:00 AM HOUSTON - The seven players drafted directly in front of Amaré Stoudemire don't even belong in this conversation, let alone on an NBA court (see ex-pros Jay Williams, the 2002 No. 2 pick; Nikoloz Tskitishvili, the No. 5; and Dajuan Wagner, the No. 6.

For the sake of this debate, skip from where Stoudemire was drafted ninth overall by Phoenix to the No. 1 spot - watch out for Mike Dunleavy's stack of money by the Golden State bench. If the draft was a do-over, does today's matchup have the Suns visiting a Houston team led by Stoudemire instead of Yao Ming?

Yao is out with a broken right tibia, which could make Stoudemire the West All-Stars' top center and prompt All-NBA first-team consideration for the Suns' 24-year-old standout.

Stoudemire does not mind Yao's absence, given the 8 inches and 75 pounds of difference between the two. Stoudemire has shot 38 percent in 10 career games against Houston. Just the same, Yao has been run off the court in most of his recent games against Phoenix.

Head-to-head matchups and international popularity aside, has Stoudemire's resurgence made him the better 2002 pick?

"Ooo, gosh, wow, hooo, man," TNT analyst Doug Collins said, pondering a question that has gone from moot to tricky in two months. "Probably with the way the game is played today, I would take Amaré - the rules with up-tempo and the way they're pushing the ball. Fifteen years ago, I'd take Yao because it was more the decade of the centers. Whoever you got, you'd be happy with."

Even Houston fans must wonder "What if?" with Stoudemire, especially when the Rockets are winning more often since Yao's injury this season despite the career-best numbers he put up before it.

Suns coach Mike D'Antoni is a biased observer, but given the same draft scenario, he turned without hesitation to Tuesday's three-on-three scrimmage coach/referee and said, "This guy," for whom he would take.



AMARE! Once he develops a jump shot, he's going to become unstobbable. Yao is never going to become a great jump shooter, simply because of his height


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
This is a toughy especially that Amare is back to where he was, but I think I would choose Yao over him, because I think that Nash makes Amare better then he really is, don't get me wrong, I still think that Amare could average close to 25 ppg, but I still think that Yao has more talent.

Especially now that he has more attitude then he has in the past, and he would be up there for MVP of the league if he wasn't injured.

Celtic Fan

depends on your team and coach.
In Pheonix, Amare.
In Houston Yao.
a healthy Yao is unstoppable.
He can get posistion any time he wants and get a good look.
Amare is an freakish athlete but if the game is close down the stretch, can you really count on him to get a good shot every time?
as of right now, no. Say he'll develop that shot is a nice sentiment, but there are tons of players throughout the history of the game who were on the cusp of greatness but could never achieve it.
based on what you see today, Yao is the way to go for 1/2 the league of half court executing teams.
Amare is the way to go for fast, athletic teams with good pg's who can get him the ball. Amare is underated at moving well without the ball.
Come playoff time, you'd want Yao because the game becomes more half court and he can get his shots.
Amare is the better defender because he does more than block shots.

I'd ultimatley say neither one is the wrong choice. both are very good players who will most likely continue to improve over the next few years..


Aw, Here It Goes!
Lets not forget that Amare is a converted Center he was originally PF which explains his athleticness, Amare is actually under-sized as a big man if you have not noticed. Yao in my opinion is the better of the two, his jump shot is just about unblockable, he rebounds well and can also score in many different ways. Amare is quicker and more athletic but Yao is the more skilled player.


I would take Amare Stoudemire, hands down. No doubt that Yao is a great player, but I love the way Amare plays with so much force and aggressiveness, as well as his athleticism. He plays with so much intensity out on the court it's crazy. We can't really debate if he would be the same player on any other team noting that Steve Nash is the anchor of the Suns at the Point, and is such a great point guard that he makes Amare look fifty times better; but give me Stoudemire's athleticism over Yao's lankyness any day of the week, unless it's a 90% Stoudemire day.


Amare is great but it remains to be seen whether or not he'll get up to 100% speed, with his major hurdles being inconsistency and an inability to handle the ball well on his own at this point. Plus, when his athleticism drops off his game will go downhill dramatically in all likelihood. Then, there's the Nash factor to consider. With these things in mind, I'm taking Yao, he's the more consistent player and brings a game that could last a long time at a high level due to his skills rather than his athleticism.