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Amare Stoudemire confirms he will play Friday for Knicks

Apr 20, 2012, 8:09 AM EST

Amare Stoudemire AP

Now the real work of getting the Knicks ready for the playoffs begins.

With the Bucks loss to the Pacers Thursday night the Knicks secured a spot in the playoffs — but if they are going to make any noise there they are going to have to get both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire firing on the floor together. That is the work that starts Friday.

It starts Friday because Stoudemire confirmed to Yahoo’s The Post Game what had been rumored for a while — he will be back in the lineup Friday night against the Cavaliers.

Stoudemire has been out since March 24 with a bulging disc in his back, and in his absence the Knicks have evolved into Carmelo’s team on offense — possessions run through him. ‘Melo is thriving. The question for interim coach Mike Woodson is how to make it work for both his All-Star forwards.

Stoudemire will be back for the playoffs and talked with Yahoo about that.

That means a first-round matchup against Chicago or Miami. Stoudemire says the opponent doesn’t matter in terms of basketball. But he does have a preference when other factors are considered.

“As far as weather and city, I’d rather be in Miami,” he says.

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