- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mike Woodson was in a confessional mood on Tuesday.
Shortly after admitting he made a mistake in leaving Carmelo Anthony in Monday’s game against Cleveland, Woodson said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that he should have played Amar’e Stoudemire in crunch time against Miami on Sunday.
Stoudemire sat for the final 7:56 of the Knicks’ loss to the Heat. New York missed 8 of 12 shots with Stoudemire on the bench.
Woodson on Tuesday admitted that Stoudemire should have been on the floor down the stretch against the Heat.
“Bad coaching. You can blame that on coach,” he said on “The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show.”
Stoudemire has been playing with a 30-minute restriction from the Knicks medical staff. Woodson said that he’s been mindful of that restriction when playing Stoudemire but added, “That’s no excuse. He should have been in there at the end of that game.”
Stoudemire played 21 minutes against the Heat, so the minutes restriction wasn’t a deterrent on Sunday.
If Stoudemire were on the floor, he would have had to guard Bosh or one of the Heat perimeter players.
“That’s a tough matchup for any big,” Woodson said.
Still, he acknowledged that Stoudemire should have been on the floor.
“Hey, you live and you learn,” he said. “I learned from it.”
Stoudemire played in the closing minutes of the Knicks’ win over Cleveland on Monday.
He had 22 points in the game to help New York, minus Anthony, rebound from a 22-point deficit.
Prior to that game, Stoudemire’s fourth-quarter usage had been sparse.
In 26 games before the Cleveland contest, Stoudemire averaged 6.3 fourth-quarter minutes. Of the 165 fourth-quarter minutes he’d played, just 24 of those came in the last five minutes of games with the Knicks ahead or behind by five points.
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