After being advised by the team’s medical staff to limit the 30 year old Amare Stoudemire to 10 minutes per game this season, the Knicks, to no one’s surprise, have taken a very cautious approach when it comes to Stoudemire’s playing time early in the year.
Stoudemire did not play in the Knicks home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks last week. The 30 year old Stoudemire, who has undergone three separate knee procedures over the past twelve months, saw his first game action during last Thursday night’s game against the Bulls, where he came off the bench for Mike Woodson, playing 11 minutes.
After sitting out again on Sunday versus the Minnessota Timberwolves, the New York Knicks announced today that Stoudemire would be in the lineup on Tuesday as the Knicks face off against the Charlotte Bobcats for the first time this season.
Considering the ticking time bombs that are Amare’s knees this is the aprproach that Knicks fans will have to get accustomed to this season as head coach Mike Woodson has already said that he will rotate between using Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin when the Knicks play back-to-back games this season.
Although Woodson has not confirmed the strategy, the coach has also considered alternating Martin and Stoudemire on a per game basis this year, in an effort to keep the two veterans healthy throughout a long NBA season.
While in theory this seems like a sound plan there is something to be said for chemistry when it comes to NBA basketball, and for anyone who has watched the Knicks first three games this season, chemistry, is not what you have witnessed.
Hopefully Knicks head coach Mike Woodson can figure out his rotation sooner rather than later, but with J.R. Smith still serving the last 2 games of his 5 game suspension, and Stoudemire and Martin on severe minutes restrictions, it seems like it may take some time for things to come together.
When asked by reporters about the difficulty of managing Stoudemire and Martins minutes, the Knicks head coach sounded eager to just make it through the early season restrictions:
“They’re both going to get a schedule for the rest of the month in terms of how it’s going to play out,” Woodson said before Sunday’s game. “When there’s a couple of days in between, I have the right to play both of them.”
“Sure, it’s tough for both of them,” Woodson said of Martin and Stoudemire. “My hands are tied too. When the medical people release these guys and say that their minutes are ready to go up then I’ll be the first one to give them more minutes. But right now I can’t do it.”
Stoudemire has told reporters how difficult it is to get into a rhythm when playing so sporadically, although the veteran power forward understand the need for caution.
During his season debut against the Chicago Bulls Amare had five points on 2-for-3 shooting in 11 minutes.