Amar'e: 'No problem' with 30-minute max


GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- With Amar'e Stoudemire continuing to play well since his Jan. 1 return from knee surgery, the question has intensified: Why are his minutes still maxed at 30?

That was the feeling after Tuesday's practice as Stoudemire was coming off his best performance of the season -- a season-high 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting in the Knicks' win over the 76ers on Sunday night.

But coach Mike Woodson remained adamant that 30 is the time limit -- a decision made by the team's medical staff, he said -- and that is fine by Stoudemire.

"I have no problem with that," the power forward said. "You can be very productive in 30 minutes, and so that's my motto right now -- to really come out and be aggressive and efficient in 30 minutes. I think it's more so just about playing smart basketball offensively."

Woodson said the playing-time restriction will benefit Stoudemire down the road.

"If he's talking about extending his career, I think it's a great position to be in," Woodson said. "I think he's accepted his role, and he's been pretty good at it."

Stoudemire, 30, hasn't started a game this season, but he often finishes them.

"Either way," he said. "As long as we're winning, I'm fine with that."

Carmelo Anthony chimed in on his teammate's flexibility.

"For a guy like that to accept that role, I mean you've got to tip your hat off to him," Anthony said. "For him to do that, we as players see that and we respect him for that. We have his back."

Stoudemire said his game is still evolving, and there are moves he hasn't unveiled yet -- a combination of things he worked on with Hakeem Olajuwon last summer and how the Knicks plan to use him going forward.

"There's a lot more that I can really show," Stoudemire said. "There's pick-and-rolls, there's pick-and-pops, there's post-ups, there's jump shots. ... There are a lot of moves that I haven't quite showed yet."

Recently, Stoudemire has expanded his offensive repertoire to moving without the ball more to the elbows for jump shots. While he has always been known for his midrange shooting, Stoudemire started off in his comeback more in the low post. He has also been more active on defense, jumping out on opposing guards quicker and flashing to the glass with an extra step for rebounds.

"We're trying to go to him and put him in a position to be successful on the block, and he's making good moves; he's getting fouled some," Woodson said. "And the other night was nice because he got a couple of offensive putbacks that we really needed at that particular time. And he's getting better defensively."

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