GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Amar’e Stoudemire is limited to 30 minutes a game nowadays, and Knicks coach Mike Woodson believes that can help extend his career.
“If he’s talking about extending his career, I think it’s a great position to be in,” Woodson said Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden.
Stoudemire, 30, has two years left on his contract and the Knicks owe him about $45 million so if they can get the most out of him for that time, it should benefit this already old team.
With the addition of Kenyon Martin, the Knicks now have six players 35 or older. When Jason Kidd turns 40 next month, they will have two 40-year-olds.
Stoudemire’s minutes-limit has been raised to 30 from 15 or 16 when he first came back after New Year’s.
He’s now become a potent force off the bench and is coming off a season-best 22-point outing on 9-of-10 shooting in Sunday’s 99-93 win over Philadelphia. He is averaging 13.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
“I have no problem with that,” Stoudemire said of the minutes-limit. “Thirty minutes, I can be very productive in 30 minutes and so that’s my motto right now. Really come out and be productive and aggressive and efficient within that 30 minutes.”
Stoudemire has been a terror down low and in the paint after spending the summer studying with Hakeem Olajuwon, but he also believes he can show more of an array by stepping out and hitting the mid-range jump shot for which he used to be known.
“It’s still there, it’s still there,” he said. “It’s just the inside game has just evolved this year, so but the outside game is still there.”
He added: “There’s a lot more that I can do that I haven’t really showed. There’s pick-and-rolls, there’s pick-and-pops, there’s post-ups, there’s jump shots. There’s replacing. There’s a lot of moves that I have that I haven’t quite showed yet, so it’s hard for teams to adjust.”
Woodson is pleased and said Stoudemire is making the most of his time on the court.
“He knows that I think a lot of things can be done in 30 minutes,” Woodson said. “That’s a lot of time throughout the course of a game. It’s a matter of what he brings and he what he does on a night-in, night-out basis.
“I’m ecstatic and I’m happy because I think this can really prolong him and it helps us in the long run, too.”
Woodson indicated Marcus Camby could return sooner from plantar fasciitis than Rasheed Wallace will from a stress reaction in his left foot. “Camby’s getting close,” he said. “He scrimmaged a little today, so we gotta gauge it and see how he feels tomorrow.”…Woodson said he didn’t know whether Kenyon Martin would debut Wednesday. ”Don’t know,” he said. “He’s still trying to get acclimated to what we’re doing so we’ll see.” When he does return, SToudemire believes Martin can help the Knicks defensively. “Whenever he plays we’re excited to see what he can bring to the table,” Stoudemire said. “We have so many weapons, so many great weapons on this team we can use everyone. And so if he can help us that will be awesome.”