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Amar’e Stoudemire says Mike Woodson, not minutes limit, keeping him off the court

Feb 4, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

Amar’e Stoudemire began the season on a minutes limit after undergoing two knee surgeries last year.

Through five games, he was averaging fewer than five minutes per game. Since, his playing time steadily ticked upward, peaking at nearly 20 minutes per game.

Then, Stoudemire missed seven games with an ankle injury. In two games since returning, he’s played just four and 17 minutes.

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But Stoudemire said Mike Woodson, not a medically determined minutes limit, is holding him back this time.

Stoudemire, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com:

“From a doctor’s standpoint, there hasn’t been limitations since the first week of the season,” Stoudemire said when asked if he wanted to throw out any minutes limitations in an effort to help the New York Knicks make the playoffs. “So we can’t keep saying limitations — that’s a coach’s decision at the end of the day.

“I feel great,” he continued. “I am ready to play. But it’s up to him if he wants to play me or not.”

“Yeah, I talk to Coach all the time about it,” Stoudemire said. “He knows I am ready. He knows how hard I train. He watches me in the weight room and also on the basketball court. The whole training staff knows, the Knicks organization knows how hard I train.

Stoudemire might not have his playing cut directly because of injury, but that’s the primary factor. He’s 31 and has a lot of mileage on him. He’s just no longer the same player he once was.

Tyson Chandler is – by far – the Knicks’ best big man, and they also function best with a small-ball lineup. That’s partially because Carmelo Anthony has become a better power forward than small forward and partially because New York’s traditional power forwards – Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin – just aren’t that good anymore.

Unlike last season, when he was an offensive force in his limited minutes, Stoudemire  is now a backup who plays like a backup. Stoudemire deserves the role he has on this team, because he’s healthy. If he were still hobbled, he probably should play even less than he does.

Like with Carlos Boozer yesterday, I have no problem with Stoudemire saying he wants more minutes. As a competitor, he should want more minutes. He talked to his coach about it, and that’s the key step. At this point, there’s no harm in him sharing his desires with the public.

It’s just not in the Knicks’ best interest to give Stoudemire a larger role, and that – not a minutes limit – is really all this comes down to.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Woodson needs to go.

    • cruzan80 - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      So does Stoudamire, Felton, Bargnani & Smith.

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        But the Knicks WANTED them and HIRED Woodson.

        No one MADE them go after Woodson and Bargnani… uh, that’s because no one in their right mind would want to go after those two.

        If the Lakers can’t get Melo, I sure hope he resigns in NYC so you all will remain without a title until at least Melo retires.

      • cruzan80 - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Lol….ok Sportsfan7. Question…..we all know who you HATE….who do you root for???

  2. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    so does half of the team

  3. adoombray - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    “Andrea Bargnani” good “anymore”

    HAHAHA. phew. stop. my sides

  4. zerole00 - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    And here I thought it was the decline of your ability that kept you off.

    Oh, and that you can only play the 4 and Melo is a much better 4 (and I don’t even like him).

  5. eugenesaxe1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Yeah, wouldn’t want to blame your crapped-out knees for that.

  6. therealhtj - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Only time dude should ever complain is if the check’s late.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:27 AM

      This made me laugh…hard^ +1

  7. docrecon - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Amare was a team-player in his early years but is too self-absorbed & broken down now. Guess Anthony rubbed off on him. yeah, Carmelo is a hell of a player, but the Knicks don’t win because he isn’t willing to help make his team-mates better; rather pad his stats….glad KD, Russ, & I-block-a don’t do that here in OKC. If the Knicks got rid of Carmelo Anthony & put an actual TEAM together who’d play & work together, they would do better.

  8. nokoolaidcowboy - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Amare…first signs of throwing your coach under the bus?

    I’m not a Woodson fan. I never believed for a moment that being a nice guy qualified one for being a good coach. With that said, Dolan needs to open his coin purse and bring in a proven leader that can evaluate talent and put prima donnas in check.

    It starts at the coaching position. And yes, they should never have ended the Lin era. It was young guys coming off the bench, playing loose and had the makings of something special.

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