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Amar’e Stoudemire to get 10-15 minutes in Game 3, Woodson says

May 9, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT

New York Knicks forward Stoudemire shares a laugh with teammate and guard Smith after he entered their NBA game with the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter in New York Reuters

Amar’e Stoudemire is back.

Going against the big front line of the Indiana Pacers, Stoudemire’s size could be a plus — if he’s not too rusty after being off since March.

Woodson said Stoudemire will play limited minutes in Game 3 on Saturday. Stoudemire told the New York Post he knows he can’t be rusty like he was last time he came back from the same surgery in January.

The Saturday comeback is on schedule as Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Thursday he plans on giving Amar’e Stoudemire 10-to-15 minutes in Game 3 as he gears up for his first outing since March 8….

“I expect to contribute the best I can,’’ Stoudemire said today. “I don’t have time to find my rhythm. I have to be ready from the start. That’s what it’s going to be.’’

The Knicks are tied up with the Pacers 1-1 heading back for Game 3 in Indiana this weekend — and they know on the road they are not going to get any 30-2 runs. They have to bring the defense they had in the second half of Game two and it would be nice to get some points out of J.R. Smith. The Pacers are not going to make things easy.

They also are not going to get any smaller, so if Stoudemire can give the Knicks 15 solid minutes off the bench it would be a big boost. But Woodson will have him on a short leash; the Knicks margin for error on the road will be pretty small.

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