New York Knicks: Amare Stoudemire

STAT's days as a Knick dwindling down?

January, 13, 2015
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LONDON –- Amar'e Stoudemire plans to return to the New York Knicks' lineup Thursday on their British detour against the Milwaukee Bucks. How much longer he remains a Knick is now up for debate.

With only a few months left on his five-year, $100 million contract, the 32-year-old can expect that his days amid the NBA’s highest earners are coming to a close.

[+] EnlargeStoudemire
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Knicks' trip to London this week may mark the beginning of the end for Amar'e Stoudemire.
But with a swollen right knee keeping him on the sidelines since the Knicks' Christmas Day defeat to the Washington Wizards, the London appearance will likely signal the beginning of the end of Stoudemire’s days as a Knick.

Whether he leaves of his own accord or is shown the exit door, the process of hard questions over his long-term future is underway.

“It’s a very difficult situation at this point," Stoudemire told reporters following practice at London’s Imperial College. “It’s a hard decision for me to make. My loyalty has always been with New York and the Knicks.

“So it will be tough right now to make a decision as far as going somewhere else at this point. It’s something I have to think about. I’m sure over time I’ll sit and think about the best scenario for myself.

“For now, I know I’ve been through injuries throughout my career. I have to make sure I’m able to be strong enough and prepared to play for a team contending for a championship. New York is trying to rebuild. Hopefully that will be sooner than later.”

The Knicks, sources told ESPN.com recently, are not looking to move Stoudemire and, at least for now, intend to keep him for the rest of the season.

But sources say they have discussed internally the possibility of buying out Stoudemire to let him play for a contender if he preferred that route. Stoudemire, of course, would have to agree to such a transaction.

It remains an outside possibility that -- with team president Phil Jackson declaring any option is explorable for his ailing 5-35 team -- Stoudemire could be waived after the forthcoming trade deadline.

That, in truth, would probably occur only if he demanded a quick departure, but the veteran has signaled his wish to mentor the inexperienced Knicks core, something of which Jackson would surely approve.

Ian Begley contributed to this report

Hardaway Jr. still searching for his game

January, 11, 2015
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Tim Hardaway JrRob Carr/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson’s salary dump of a trade last week has given the New York Knicks more cap space to work with this summer. It also gives New York's younger players a chance to prove themselves over the next three months.

One player with a great opportunity to turn his season around is Tim Hardaway Jr.

So far, things haven’t gone as planned for the second-year shooting guard.

Hardaway is shooting 38 percent from the field this season and 31 percent from beyond the arc, both down from his surprising rookie campaign.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher noted this week that Hardaway, like most young players, needs to develop a more consistent approach to the game.

“Tim’s a second-year player, he’s not going to have all that you need to be consistently successful at this point,” Fisher said. “But he’s doing well and he’s having a rough patch right now, but he works hard every day.”

The former Michigan standout surprised many around the league with a strong rookie season last year, establishing himself as one of most accurate young shooters in the league. Hardaway had the highest 3-point field goal percentage among rookies with at least 55 attempts.

Early on this season, Hardaway wasn't playing regular minutes, which may have impacted his shot. And despite playing more regularly lately -- Hardaway has been the Knicks’ starting shooting guard for the past month -- the results haven’t changed much. During that span, he’s averaging 14.2 points per game on 37 percent shooting (30 percent from beyond the arc).

Hardaway’s defense continues to be an issue as well. His defensive real plus minus -- a measure of a player’s impact on his team’s defensive efficiency -- is minus-2.84, which ranks 90th out of 96 shooting guards who qualify.

Hardaway is under contract for next season -- but every Knick outside of Carmelo Anthony could be available in trades. If the Knicks get a strong offer for Hardaway, they would probably be open to moving him.

Phil compliments Stoudemire's “heart”: Amar’e Stoudemire has missed nine straight games due to a sore right knee. Derek Fisher said on Saturday that Stoudemire may practice this week. Phil Jackson said Stoudemire has impressed the coaching staff with his willingness to risk injury to help the team.

“People always bring Carmelo [Anthony] up, but also Amar’e has also been extremely important to lose for us,” Jackson said on Saturday.

“When we were in Chicago [Dec. 18] and we were having a difficult time with injuries, [Stoudemire] stepped forward," Jackson said. "He’s got a great heart and we appreciate that about his effort.”

Jackson wasn't as complimentary of point guard Jose Calderon. Calderon was the main component for Jackson in his trade of Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas. Calderon, owed $15 million over the next two seasons, has struggled in his first season in New York, shooting just 40 percent from the floor.

“Jose’s going to play better. I think he’s going to recover and have a substantial increase in his capabilities as the season goes on,” Jackson said. “I’m sure he’s as disappointed as we are in his start to the first half of the season.”

Stoudemire will miss Saturday's game

December, 27, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Amar'e Stoudemire will miss Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings due to knee soreness, the New York Knicks announced.

There’s reason to be concerned whenever Stoudemire feels soreness in his knees because the 10-year veteran has a long history of knee issues.

Derek Fisher said on Thursday that Stoudemire had felt soreness in his knees in recent days. Stoudemire has missed two of the Knicks’ last three games to rest his knees. Saturday will mark the third game in four that Stoudemire has missed.

“The last few days he’s a had a little bit of soreness. Nothing crazy but enough for us to want to make sure that we’re being smart,” Fisher said Thursday before Stoudemire played 22 minutes against Washington.

Stoudemire played through soreness against the Wizards, scoring just six points on 2-for-6 shooting.

He has averaged 26.4 minutes per game this season -- his highest per-game average since 2011-12.

"When his minutes jumped up the past few weeks, recovery was tougher for him," Fisher said.

The Knicks have no minutes limit for Stoudemire this season. But instead have planned rest days for him throughout the year. He was supposed to have a rest day last Thursday against Chicago. But with Carmelo Anthony out for that game, Stoudemire decided to play. He then sat for the next two games.

So the idea that Stoudemire is feeling soreness in his knees at this point is distressing for the Knicks. Stoudemire is no stranger to knee issues.

In a 12-month period ending last offseason, Stoudemire had three procedures on his knees.

Stoudemire's latest flareup comes at a tough time for the club.

The Knicks are already without Quincy Acy against Sacramento due to suspension, so they will have to rely more on Samuel Dalembert, Cole Aldrich and Jason Smith on the front line against the Kings.

The team may get J.R. Smith back for the Sacramento game. He is listed as questionable due to a plantar fascia injury. Smith has missed eight straight games due to the injury.

Did Stoudemire take subtle shot at Tyson?

December, 17, 2014
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NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks fell to 5-22 after Tuesday’s 20-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks. But that didn’t stop Amar'e Stoudemire from taking what could be construed as a shot at ex-Knick Tyson Chandler.

“Tyson’s supposed to be a great defensive player but they still sent double- and triple-teams on me,” Stoudemire said after scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting against Dallas. “So that’s kind of a compliment if you ask me -- for a guy to be known for his defensive presence and the team to still send a double-team.

“It shows that the coaching staff has a lot of respect for my inside game. But with that being said, they tried to take me out of the game by doing that. So well played on their behalf.”

It didn’t seem like Stoudemire meant what he said as a shot at Chandler. Stoudemire’s point, it seemed, was to express confidence in his own play.

Nonetheless, it was an interesting choice of words after the Knicks lost for the 12th time in 13 games.

“We couldn’t get stops,” Stoudemire said. “Tough game tonight.”

Is Tim Hardaway Jr. feeling pressure? With J.R. Smith (plantar fascia) and Iman Shumpert (shoulder) out, the Knicks are counting on Hardaway Jr. to produce.

Hardaway Jr. has put up points in Smith and Shumpert's absence, but he's struggled with his shot.

The second-year guard is shooting just 9-for-32 in his past two games, including 1-for-16 from beyond the arc. He's averaging 16 points per game in that span.
Hardaway Jr. was asked if he’s feeling any pressure to do more with Shumpert and J.R. Smith out.

“Um, kinda, sort of, not really,” Hardaway said.

Melo: Tyson deserves cheers in MSG return

December, 15, 2014
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Anthony/ChandlerGetty ImagesIn Melo's mind, booing big man Tyson Chandler in his Tuesday MSG return wouldn't make much sense.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. –- Tyson Chandler returns to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, and Carmelo Anthony said the former Knicks center deserves a warm reception.

“I hope they cheer for him,” Anthony said about when the Mavericks visit the Knicks. “He was a guy who came in and won Defensive Player of the Year here. He was a big part to what we were trying to create here and what we did at one point in time."

“I don’t think they need to boo him or anything,” Anthony continued. “The only reason you boo him [is] because he’s on another team. If you want to do that, then you should boo everybody that’s on another team. I don’t think you should boo him because he left the New York Knicks.”

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What might be more interesting is to see how Knicks fans feel after Tuesday night’s game. The last time Chandler played the Knicks, he gave them a harsh reminder of what they traded away, dropping 17 points and a season-high 25 rebounds to go with two blocked shots in a 109-102 win in Dallas.

The 5-21 Knicks sure could use Chandler this season. Without him, the Knicks lack presence inside the paint. Amar'e Stoudemire has probably exceeded expectations this season, but the Knicks desperately need an intimidating big man.

Chandler and Raymond Felton were dealt to Dallas in the offseason in a trade that brought back Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks. The deal was largely made by Phil Jackson to unload Felton, but it cost them their best defender and rebounder along with Chandler’s expiring contract.

Jackson also said he was trying to improve team chemistry and “start with some character guys” when explaining the trade. Last season, Chandler made some headlines when he questioned Mike Woodson’s defensive schemes.

By the end of a disappointing 37-45 campaign, Chandler seemed ready for a fresh start elsewhere, as he and some of his teammates took their fair share of heat for last season’s struggles.

“That’s the state of our game, man,” Anthony said when asked about how some people made Chandler to be a scapegoat for the Knicks' disappointing season last year.

“That’s what we have to deal with as players. If something ain’t going right, they find somebody to pin it on. In Tyson’s situation, they [critics] said it was him. That’s the nature of our game. There’s always going to be somebody that they point the finger at. In that situation, it was him during that time.”

“I don’t see anything he did wrong,” Anthony added. “I think he did a great job of coming to play when he was here.”

Chandler looked like he had something to prove to the Knicks when they last met, on Nov. 26.

Anthony sat out that game due to back spasms but watched Chandler create havoc against the Knicks.

“I remember him having a hell of a game,” Anthony said. “I was drugged up that day [due to the back pain]. ... Everything was kind of blurry to me. But I watched it, I saw it, how impactful he was during that game, how excited he was to play against us.”

Of course, the Knicks have more things to worry about than what kind of reception Chandler draws in his Garden return. The Knicks just need to win and pull through in a tight game for once.

Stoudemire hopes Chandler’s presence will add buzz to the game.

“I think [Tuesday] is going to be a great game for us and also for Dallas with Tyson being back in New York,” Stoudemire said.

"Tyson gave us some good years, he truly did, he was a true pro,” Stoudemire added. “His defensive methods were great. I think the crowd will give him a cheer because 'once a Knick, you're always a Knick.' He does play for Dallas, and they might not cheer him for all too long."

The System: The Knicks had some success using some pick-and-roll sets during Sunday’s overtime loss to Toronto. Anthony, though, believes the Knicks are getting better at the triangle.

“I don’t want to keep talking about the system,” Anthony said when asked if learning the triangle is still an issue. “The system is just a foundation of what we are trying to run on the offensive end. It is just a matter of what we do in that system.

“Yesterday we did some things that didn’t involve the actual system, and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t,” Anthony added. “I do think we are getting better at learning the actual system and learning the counters to the system. Now we got to start believing in it more and becoming more comfortable day by day.”

Injury report: The Knicks practiced on Monday but had several players sit out. Anthony (recovery), Larkin (illness), J.R. Smith (left plantar fascia), Pablo Prigioni (sore ankle), Iman Shumpert (left shoulder) and Stoudemire (recovery) all did not practice.

Amar'e: Atlantic Division still 'wide open'

December, 5, 2014
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videoThe New York Knicks wake up Saturday morning with the third-worst record in the NBA.

They have played only 21 games but are already 13 games under .500.

Still, Amar'e Stoudemire views the Atlantic Division as "wide open" at this point.

“With Toronto and [DeMar] DeRozan being hurt now, you never know how that team is going to end up. Brooklyn’s not playing great. The division is still open,” Stoudemire said after the Knicks' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night. "We've just got to turn this thing around."

DeRozan is out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his left groin, and the Raptors have won two of four since the shooting guard went down.

The Knicks are 11.5 games behind first-place Toronto entering play Saturday. They've also lost seven straight and 16 of their past 18.

Stoudemire's comments were prompted by a question about the team’s season spiraling away. Still, at 4-17 and 5.5 games back of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks would be fortunate to make the playoffs at this point.

Unless the landscape in the division changes dramatically, winning the Atlantic seems to be an unrealistic goal for New York.

Fish has to run on floor to get timeout

What does a coach have to do to get a timeout these days?

Knicks coach Derek Fisher had to run to halfcourt to get the attention of the referees and call a timeout late in the fourth quarter on Thursday. In the Knicks' previous game, referees ignored Fisher’s attempts to call a timeout late in the fourth.

He made sure his request was recognized on Thursday.

“I think they’re trying to just watch the action in the game. It’s something that many coaches are concerned about,” Fisher said. “They want us not to walk on the court that way. I don’t know if you can get a timeout if you don’t. It’s not something that you want to have to do. It may not look great on television, but you want to make sure you get a timeout called.”

Fisher says lineups haven’t impacted performance

The Knicks have used 11 different starting lineups in 20 games. On Thursday, Fisher started Stoudemire at center and brought Sam Dalembert off the bench.

Dalembert said all of the different lineups present a challenge.

“I always say that's why we’re professional, we have to adapt," he said. "As a team, we kind of realize that, we see that."

Fisher, though, doesn’t think the lineup shuffle has impacted the team’s development.

“We've played a lot of people just about every night this season with the injuries and things that have impacted us,” Fisher said. “So I don’t know if 'comfortable with each other' is even a word for our team right now in terms of all the changes. But we’re definitely not seeing a negative impact per se in terms of guys not feeling like they know what their teammate is going to do.

“It’s actually the beauty of what the system provides -- the consistency of what your teammates' actions are based on what happens.”

For what it’s worth, Dalembert had no problem with not starting at center. He does seem perplexed by the Knicks’ struggles. Dalembert says the Knicks have strong practices but haven’t yet figured out how to transfer them to the court.

“A lot of times it’s a little confusing for all of us,” Dalembert said. “The way we’re practicing, we haven’t found a way to consistently transfer that to the gam. ... I don’t know if it’s a mental thing [or] what is it exactly.”

Question: Do you agree with Stoudemire? Do the Knicks have a shot to win the Atlantic? Or is Stoudemire being totally unrealistic?

Amar'e 'upset' he couldn't join protest in NY

December, 5, 2014
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NEW YORK -- While protesters flooded the New York City streets for a second straight night following a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the choking death of Eric Garner, Amar'e Stoudemire was in the New York Knicks' locker room, answering questions about basketball.

But his mind was elsewhere.

Stoudemire
"I'm pretty upset that I'm not protesting right now with the rest of the guys out there in New York," he said.

Stoudemire then offered his thoughts on the Garner situation.

"I think it's something that's -- it's very alarming in our country as far as that's concerned. We have to be more conscientious of what the law enforcement's job is, and that's to protect and serve," Stoudemire said. "Those two words are very strong when you think about that. Your first job is to protect and your second job is to serve. Obviously it's not happening that way."

Stoudemire wasn't the only athlete to address the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer responsible for Garner's death, which has stirred emotion both locally and nationally.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James also shared his thoughts on Garner, as did New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

"It's a sensitive subject right now. Violence is not the answer and retaliation isn't the solution," James said. "As a society we just have to do better. I pray for the families of the lost ones."

Stoudemire has been outspoken on social issues in the past, including the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida in 2012.

He and teammate Carmelo Anthony wore hooded sweatshirts to honor Martin during warm-ups prior to a Knicks game in March 2012

Amar'e feels like 'everything is back'

November, 23, 2014
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This season, Amar’e Stoudemire said he planned on reminding people how good he can be when healthy.

In his past three games, Stoudemire has shown flashes of vintage Amar’e, averaging 16.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting 17-of-21.

During Saturday’s much-needed 91-83 win over the lowly Sixers, Stoudemire made 5 of 6 shots and had 16 points and 11 rebounds in just 20 minutes.

Perhaps he found the Fountain of Youth in those red wine baths he’s been taking.

“I feel great,” Stoudemire said after the win over the Sixers. “To feel this explosive and energetic and quick, everything is back. I feel blessed to be able to say that once again.”

It’s been a long road back for Stoudemire, who has done all he can to return from surgeries on both knees. This season, Stoudemire is averaging 12 points, 7.4 rebounds and 54.8 percent shooting in 22.8 minutes per game.

With the Knicks monitoring his health and minutes, Stoudemire has sat out just one of the Knicks’ first 14 games.

Last season, Stoudemire played in 65 games, averaging 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. But Stoudemire came on strong at the end, averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in March.

He looks like he is picking up where he left off last season.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher says his big man has been able to adapt to the triangle pretty well so far.

“I think Amar'e has been effective all season long, in a sense, but I think he understands where his opportunities come from within the system,” Fisher said. “He is taking advantage of those, being aggressive and rebounding the ball.”

Carmelo Anthony is certainly appreciative of Stoudemire’s efforts to regain his old form.

“I think he’s getting more comfortable with himself, his body, knowing what he can do out there on the basketball court and taking advantage of the mismatches and the situations,” Anthony said. “He’s our go-to post player. We need a bucket at times, we’re definitely going to him.”

There’s a lot of season left to play, but Stoudemire’s contract year is off to a good start.

“It took me a little longer [than expected],” Stoudemire told reporters when asked how long he thought it would take to get back to feeling healthy and playing his game again.

“Those two years previously were extremely tough to go through. But I knew hard work and dedication to the game of basketball -- staying focused, it’ll all pan out.

"So far, feeling great. Going to do everything I can to keep that feeling.”

To start, Amar'e accepts bench role

October, 27, 2014
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Knicks coach Derek Fisher hasn’t made any public lineup decisions yet.

Based on what he's done in the preseason, it seems like Amar'e Stoudemire will start the season coming off the bench.

Stoudemire said on Monday that he’s OK with that -- as long as the Knicks are winning.

[+] EnlargeAmare Stoudemire
Mike Groll/AP PhotoAmar'e Stoudemire is willing to come off the bench for the Knicks, who open the season Wednesday against Chicago.
“I take my game very serious whether I’m starting or coming off the bench,”
Stoudemire said. “Whatever’s best for the team -- if we’re winning then so be it. If not, then we’ll figure something out.”

Stoudemire started just once during the preseason at center, against Milwaukee.

Andrea Bargnani, Quincy Acy and Jason Smith have started at power forward. If these lineups hold, it appears as if Stoudemire will be one of the first forwards coming off the bench. Though his role hasn’t yet been clearly defined.

“I’m not sure. I’m eager to find out just as well as you are,” he said.

Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Stoudemire remains confident that he’ll be a “lethal threat” this season.

“My teammates ... know I’m one of the main guys on the team. That’s not a secret. I’m sure other teams know that as well,” Stoudemire said. “They’re going to be geared up for us. Whether I’m starting or not, I think teams are going to respect the fact that I’m a lethal threat out there on the basketball court. I want to keep that respect going.”

STAT GETS WINE ENDORSEMENT? Stoudemire’s penchant for using wine as a recovery tool is well-known. The veteran revealed on Monday that he’s gotten some endorsement opportunities.

“I’ve had a few wine companies call me,” he said.

BE-WEAR: The Knicks made room for Travis Wear on Monday by trading Travis Outlaw to Philadelphia.

Most expected Wear to end up in the D-League but the Knicks decided to keep him because Outlaw had a poor, injury-filled preseason.

“I’m just going remain humble,” Wear said. “I came in here and working and not expecting anything, playing defense, taking what comes to me and not force anything. There were 15 roster spots coming in. My situation as an undrafted free agent, I knew I needed to showcase what I can do. I was very overwhelmed. You work your whole life to get to this point. To come in and have to earn it is very gratifying.”

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

STAT's goal: Be a 'better defensive player'

October, 20, 2014
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Amar'e Stoudemire has a new outlook on life in the NBA now that he’s fully healthy.

“My joy is there. My love of the game is there," Stoudemire said before the Knicks’ preseason game Monday. "I feel like I’m 19 again, as far as how much I love to play the game of basketball. I feel youthful. To have that type of feeling again, as I had my rookie year, to want to play and just want to be out there and get better as a player is pretty encouraging.”

Stoudemire said he'd lost a certain sense of joy due to various injuries over the past few years.

[+] EnlargeAmare Stoudemire
AP Photo/John MinchilloA refreshed Amar'e Stoudemire scored 14 points in 24 minutes of action Monday against the Bucks.
For the first time in years, Amar'e is entering this season fully healthy; that health has given Stoudemire the confidence to make some bold predictions. He said he wants to return to All-Star form and get back to being "dominant" -- as he was in the first half of his first season in New York.

Stoudemire added another goal to his list Monday.

“My goal this year is to become a better defensive player and be known as a defensive player,” he said.

Stoudemire hasn’t been known as a strong defender in recent seasons. Last year, the 31-year-old ranked 87th out of 88 power forwards in defensive real plus-minus, a stat that measures a player’s defensive impact. This past season, the Knicks allowed five fewer points per 100 possessions when Stoudemire was not on the floor.

"It’s a challenge I’ve got to accept, and I’m willing to accept it,” Stoudemire said.

Stoudemire revealed his defensive goals during a conversation about playing defense as a center, which is where he started Monday's game.

Derek Fisher wanted to experiment with Stoudemire at center on Monday and started him alongside Quincy Acy at power forward.

“The game’s changed a lot in the last several years, and [there are] very few prototypical centers in terms of size and build," Fisher said. "Amar’e’s still physically imposing, even though he’s not 7-feet tall. We kind of feel good about some things he might be able to do for us offensively and defensively at that position. We’ve seen it in practice some. We thought it was a great chance to take a look.”

Question: What are your expectations for Stoudemire this season? Do you think he can fulfill his goal of improving on the defensive end? Do you think the Knicks should give him a look at center?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Fisher: No minutes limit for Amar'e

October, 19, 2014
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For the first time in a long time, Amar'e Stoudemire is not playing with a minutes restriction.

Stoudemire has played with minutes restrictions for most of the past two seasons. Much of last season, he wasn’t permitted by the Knicks’ medical staff to play in both games of a back-to-back. He also couldn’t play more than 30 minutes in a game for the first 50-plus games.

The restrictions were in place in an effort to keep Stoudemire healthy. His knees have given him trouble throughout his career; he had three knee procedures over a 10-month span.

This year, the medical staff and coaching staff has a plan in place to try to keep Stoudemire healthy. But a minutes restriction -- at this point -- is not part of that plan.

“Right now there aren't any minute restrictions, or he can only play the front of a back to back, or any of that,” coach Derek Fisher said after practice on Sunday.

Fisher called the development “great news” for both Stoudemire and the Knicks.

He said the staff has predetermined rest days in place for Stoudemire. But other than the “recovery days” already on the calendar, the expectation is that Stoudemire will be available.

“If we can find ways to be consistent in [scheduling the rest days] then we don't have to judge in the game whether or not it’s too many minutes or whether he can start or [not based on minutes restrictions],” Fisher said. “So we're excited that we can go into the season with an open mind in that regard and it's worked well so far. The days we’ve had as recovery days for him, he's looked great coming back the next day and we think it's something that will work once the season starts.”

Stoudemire said before training camp that he felt 100 percent healthy and predicted that he’d be able to play more than 30 minutes per night. He also revealed last week that he’s been bathing in red wine in an effort to keep healthy. Just where Stoudemire fits into the Knicks’ rotation is unclear at this point.

Andrea Bargnani started the Knicks’ preseason opener at power forward, and Quincy Acy has started the previous three games with Bargnani out due to a hamstring injury.

It is unclear who will start at power forward on Monday in the Knicks’ preseason game against the Bucks.

Fisher, though, has said that he’ll look to create lineups based on which players mesh well together and give the Knicks a chance to compete on both ends of the floor.

In four preseason games, Stoudemire has averaged five points on 34 percent shooting in 16 minutes per game.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Stoudemire: I can log 30 minutes per night

September, 29, 2014
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire is confident he'll be able to play 30 minutes per night this season.

"Oh, for sure. Having the year I had last year from a health standpoint is very positive. … I hope it allows me to play even more this season," Stoudemire said Monday.

Stoudemire has been on a minutes restriction for much of the past two seasons due to various knee ailments. He might play on another minutes restriction this season.

Coach Derek Fisher said on Friday the Knicks will keep a close eye on Stoudemire's knees this year. Stoudemire hopes to play around 30 minutes per night, which is close to what he averaged last season in his final 20 games.

"I think toward the end of the year last year we got it to a 30-minute-a-night, 35-minute-a-night type deal," said Stoudemire, who is fully healthy entering camp for the first time in three years. "So I'm sure after I sit down with the coaches we'll pick out something that's going to be beneficial to both of us."

Another issue for Fisher to figure out will be whether to start Stoudemire or bring him off the bench.

Stoudemire said that playing in the starting lineup last season played an "intricate" role in his success. He also says that he hopes to "build around that" this season.

It wasn't exactly a demand from Stoudemire to be in the starting lineup, but it seemed like a subtle hint that he'd rather start than come off the bench.

"I think the way the season ended up last year was a positive step for myself and also for the team to be able to really capitalize on those minutes," Stoudemire, who is entering the final year of a five-year, $100 million contract, said. "That starting role was important as well. It played an intricate part in my success toward the second half of that year, so hopefully, we can build around that."

Fisher hasn't made up his mind on any starting positions other than to say that Carmelo Anthony will be in the starting lineup.

So there is a possibility that Stoudemire can start this season.

Stoudemire has mostly come off the bench for the past two seasons, but he started the final 20 games in which he played last season and played well, averaging 16.1 points on 57 percent shooting.

The Knicks went 14-6 in that span, evidence they can thrive with Stoudemire in the starting lineup.

Hardaway Jr. focused on defense: Tim Hardaway Jr. said he worked on "making sure my defense was on point" in the offseason.

"Just try to find easy ways to get steals and deflections. I know with the new staff that we have, Derek Fisher is going to help us out with that," Hardaway Jr. said. "I think I could be more effective talking on the defensive end, just being in the right spot at the right time. My rookie season I wasn't really good at that at all, so just trying to enhance that any way that I can and just improve on all aspects." .... Andrea Bargnani missed 43 games due to various injuries. The major injury was a ligament issue in his elbow that ended his season. He said Monday he's been fully healthy for several weeks but still needs to get in game shape.

Question: Do you think Stoudemire should be in the starting lineup this season?


You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Position analysis: Center

August, 6, 2014
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Samuel DalembertSTAN HONDA/AFP/Getty ImagesRecently acquired Sam Dalembert is in the Knicks' mix for a starting spot at center.
Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Knicks currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at center.

CENTER

New additions: Samuel Dalembert, Jason Smith

Returning/on roster: Andrea Bargnani, Amar'e Stoudemire, Cole Aldrich, Jeremy Tyler (Tyler is considered a PF/C; the Knicks have a team option on Tyler for next season that they have not yet exercised.)

Gone: Tyson Chandler

The starter: It seems as if coach Derek Fisher has a choice between Dalembert and Smith here, with Stoudemire as a third option.

SportsNation

Who should be the Knicks' starting center next season?

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Discuss (Total votes: 3,882)

The triangle, if run correctly, should produce some midrange jump shots for Knicks centers. Looking at things through this prism, it would seem that Smith has the edge over Dalembert.

Only 14 percent of Dalembert’s shot attempts were between 10-22 feet last season. Smith, on the other hand, took 74 percent of his 282 field goal attempts from that distance. Smith hit 47 percent of his attempts last season on shots farther than 16 feet from the rim but inside the 3-point line.

Those numbers show Smith is comfortable taking -- and making -- the outside shot. Stoudemire also has shown an ability to hit jumpers, though his defensive liability and history of knee issues may preclude Fisher from inserting him into the starting five.

Of course, offense is only part of the equation for Knicks centers. Fisher will also need his big men to defend the rim and rebound (more on that below).

The wild card: Stoudemire. The 12-year veteran is healthy this offseason for the first time in a while; he isn’t dealing with a nagging back issue or knee pain this summer. If he can enter the season fully healthy, it’s fair to expect big things on offense from the former All-Star. He averaged 16.1 points on 57 percent shooting in 20 of the Knicks' final 22 games, all of which he started at power forward. For some, this has given credence to the theory that Stoudemire should be in the starting five to begin the season.

But can he be a net positive for the Knicks as a starting center?

According to 82games.com, Stoudemire outscored opponents by 11.8 points per 48 minutes at power forward and 7.3 points at center last season. The issue with playing Stoudemire at center, of course, is that it will likely leave the Knicks exposed on defense. They were outscored by 109 points with Stoudemire at center last season, per the site.

Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony playing alongside one another at center and power forward, respectively, were a potent offensive duo in 2013-14. But with the two players manning those positions, the Knicks had a tough time getting stops.

The three most often-used lineups with Stoudemire at center and Anthony at power forward were outscored by 20 points over 188 minutes last season, per 82games.com.

One caveat to consider when it comes to Stoudemire is the triangle offense and its potential impact on his game. Can the triangle help offset Stoudemire's defensive issues and enhance his strengths on offense? These are questions that Fisher may consider when thinking about Stoudemire’s role.

Outlook: You can make a strong argument that the most important aspect for the Knicks' big men this season is this: Which player can give Fisher & co. the best rim protection?

The numbers from last season don't seem to suggest a clear favorite here.

Opponents shot 52 percent at the rim against Dalembert and 50.8 percent against Smith. (For perspective, Robin Lopez led centers with a 42.5 percent opponent shooting percentage at the rim).

Neither Dalembert nor Smith made a huge impact on team defense last season. The Mavs gave up 2.6 more points per 100 possessions with Dalembert on the floor; the Pelicans allowed 0.6 points more per 100 possessions with Smith on the court.

What about rebounding?

Dalembert grabbed 42 percent of the contested rebounds available to him (30th among players who averaged at least five rebounds per game last season) and Smith pulled down 32.6 percent of the contested rebounds available to him (86th).

So Dalembert's and Smith's ability to help defend the rim and paint will be something to keep an eye on during training camp and the preseason.

One center who may merit more minutes this season? Aldrich. Aldrich, who signed a new deal with the Knicks this summer, emerged as a consistent force off the bench for stretches in the second half of last season. The former first-round pick averaged 10 points and 14 rebounds per 36 minutes -- evidence that he may merit more playing time in 2014-15.

Question: Who would you like to see starting at center for the Knicks? Should Amar'e Stoudemire see minutes at center?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Knicks trying to ship Amar'e to Philly

July, 8, 2014
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Knicks president Phil Jackson has talked to multiple teams in recent days -– including the Philadelphia 76ers –- about moving Amar’e Stoudemire in an effort to clear more cap space this summer, sources say.

Moving Stoudemire and his $23.4 million contract would allow the Knicks to take back players in a sign-and-trade and could give them more money to offer free agents such as Pau Gasol.

The New York Post, which earlier reported the Knicks talks with Philly regarding Stoudemire, reports that the Knicks are unwilling to include Iman Shumpert in such a transaction.

An extra piece such as Shumpert may be a prerequisite for a deal with Philadelphia, which has $30 million in cap space and can take on a contract such as Stoudemire's. The Sixers have also been mentioned as a team willing to take back Jeremy Lin's contract from the Rockets.

A league source says Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr.'s name has also been discussed in some iterations of deals involving Stoudemire but the Knicks are not inclined to include the second-year shooting guard in any deals.

The source says the Knicks are also trying to move Andrea Bargnani and his $11.5 million salary in an effort to create cap space to make a run at free agents this summer.

All of this supports the notion that Jackson's intention is to try to rebuild the Knicks' roster as soon as possible instead of waiting until the summer of 2015 to reshape it.

It should be noted, however, that Stoudemire had an extremely strong finish to the season last year and is healthy this offseason for the first time in three summers. So his on-court value this season to the Knicks shouldn't be automatically dismissed.

Question: Do you think Phil should include Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr. in a deal to get Amar'e off of the books?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

STAT: Hard for Kerr to 'turn down' Warriors

May, 15, 2014
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Amar'e Stoudemire wasn't all that surprised on Wednesday night when he heard Steve Kerr was headed to Golden State instead of New York.

"It's one of those situations with Kerr where he has a great opportunity in San Francisco, his daughter goes to [Cal Berkeley], he's from California. It's beautiful weather year round, great young team. It's kind of hard to turn down so it's a little bit tough," Stoudemire said on Thursday at an event in Manhattan to promote The Art of Shaving's "Lexington Collection."

Stoudemire has been home doing "daddy duty" recently while reading and listening to reports that said Kerr was expected to be the Knicks' next coach.

"I thought we were set on Steve. It didn't pan out that way so we've got to see what's next," Stoudemire said.

The Knicks' forward played in Phoenix while Kerr was the GM in 2007-2010. He says he can understand why Kerr chose to coach in Golden State instead of for Phil Jackson due to the factors at play.

"For any one of us, if we have a job that's offering more, [that's] in your hometown where your children are growing up, most of us would probably take that job as well. It's the nature of the business," Stoudemire said.

Kerr signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Warriors. The Knicks were offering four years for $20 million, a league source told ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor. There were also other factors at play for Kerr, such as the opportunity to coach close to home with the Warriors.

So what happens now?

"That's a great question. There's a few coaches out there that are soon to be coaches. Not sure where we're going with that, but we'll see," Stoudemire said. "My job is to, whatever coach comes in, is to be a leader to our ballclub, get us back to the playoffs and then go from there."

ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported Thursday that Jackson was looking for a young coach who he could mold, similar to what Pat Riley did in Miami with Erik Spoelstra.

Stoudemire was asked about the idea of playing for a first-year coach.

"I think I've done it before. If I'm not mistaken, Terry Porter was a new coach [in Phoenix] and it wasn't great," Stoudemire said with a laugh. (Porter actually coached in Milwaukee before Phoenix).

"But we tried to roll with the punches, we tried to figure it out. But I'm sure there's a great track record so far with young coaches who are new coaches. Even Doc Rivers, for example. Mark Jackson did a great job in Golden State in my opinion. So there's a pretty cool track record of that and we'll see if we can keep it going."

STAT "not sure" about Melo: For the second time in a week, Stoudemire was asked about Carmelo Anthony's free agency. He's not sure where Anthony is going to end up this summer.

"I don't know. I still don't know. It's a tough decision man, it's a very tough decision for him," Stoudemire said. "So I'm not totally sure yet what he's going to do."

Stoudemire was asked about his "gut feeling" on Anthony.

"Right now, I have no idea," he said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.2 3.1 1.0 35.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 6.6
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.7
StealsS. Larkin 1.2
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3