Friday, October 12, 2012
Stoudemire questionable for Celtics game
By Jared Zwerling
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire is questionable for Saturday night's preseason game against the Celtics at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
Stoudemire is still receiving treatment for his bruised left knee, which he suffered during Wednesday's practice after making contact with Chris Copeland on a hard drive to the basket. Stoudemire experienced some swelling and tightness in the area afterward, and then missed the Wizards game on Thursday night.
He said he could suit up to play Boston, but he likely won't for precautionary measures.
"I could play if I needed to, but it's the preseason, so we're not going to force anything right now," he said after practice on Friday at the Knicks' training facility. "A bone bruise is never a fun thing. It takes a while for it to heal. Right now, we're just trying to break up the blood that's in there, loosen it up and get ready."
In addition to Stoudemire sitting out -- he just shot around and walked through some sets with the team, while wearing a protective sleeve on his knee -- J.R. Smith didn't scrimmage in order to rest. Mike Woodson called it a "maintenance day" for the shooting guard.
"We've been doing a lot of running," Woodson said.
The coach did say that he noticed all of the conditioning in the first week of training camp paid off on Thursday night, with the team pushing the ball well and getting their legs under them to shoot 54.5 percent from downtown.
While Stoudemire was sitting back on the sideline at the Verizon Center, he said the team looked "awesome." He was impressed with how they could score effectively in different ways.
"The game looked so easy. We didn't have to work for much," he said. "We've got facilitators and shooters on the team. It's going to make the game so much easier for us all. It's going to be a little bit of everything: pick-and-roll offense, you're going to see some post-up offense, great shooting from the outside. We've got a very, very talented team and we're trying to put all the skill sets together to have a great year."
While Woodson has been traditionally known to be an isolation and post-up-oriented coach, he's prepared to use the pick-and-roll more often this season. After watching Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni on Thursday night, it's clear why -- and it's why Stoudemire, the team's best roller, said after practice, "I can't wait to play."
"Our pick-and-roll offense will be sharper this year," Woodson said, "because I think -- with no knock against [Mike] Bibby and those guys; they did an excellent job for us -- but I like the makeup of Jason Kidd. That's what he does. He can run a team and run pick-and-rolls. Raymond can run pick-and-rolls. Pablo can run a team and run pick-and-rolls. That's going to be kind of the cornerstone of some of our offense. It won't be all of our offense, but that'll be a big part of it."