Mike Woodson's decision to keep Amar'e Stoudemire on the floor through the fourth quarter of New York's loss to the Celtics was a little odd. Even putting aside the fact that Stoudemire-- though improving-- doesn't look reliable enough at this point in his return to be playing the fourth quarter of a close game, the man is coming off knee surgery and was supposed to be working his way back gradually. He hadn't played more than 21 minutes before his 28-minute spin on Monday.
It was a weird, sudden move on all counts, and it's not going to happen again anytime soon. Woodson admitted at practice today that he'd made a mistake in leaving Amar'e out there and, per the suggestion of team doctors (not Amar'e himself, though Amar'e did feel soreness after the last game) will limit Amar'e's minutes for the near future:
"I just got word that I needed to back off because I shouldn't have done that," Woodson said. "His minutes will still be on a restriction. Probably around the 20 mark range. Somewhere in that area there. No more than 22-23 minutes."
Woodson added, "No setback but he was probably a little sore. That's the reason for it."
Stoudemire admitted today to being "a little bit sore after the game" but said he did not request for his minutes to be cut.
"It didn't come from me. I don't feel as if it's a setback at all," he said. "I feel great. I just think we're taking precautionary routes."
That probably means guys like Marcus Camby (who will continue to start) and Chris Copeland will each see a little more playing time. It'll be interesting to see whether Woodson's really set on playing Amar'e in the fourth quarter (thus saving him earlier in the game), or if he'll go to Camby or Copeland or Ronnie Brewer, or perhaps a two-point guard lineup with both Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni down the stretch.
Other practice stuff:
- Rasheed Wallace was at least on the floor today, but he's nowhere near scrimmaging. Woodson hopes he'll start running next week. Running. Next week. Man, I hope that Kenyon Martin thing doesn't happen, but Sheed's not close.
- No more Melo-KG stuff. We move on.
- I may have already linked this, but here are some highlights and words from Iman Shumpert's first day of practice (Tuesday). Shump practiced in full again today, which is good news, but the Knicks still aren't giving a return date.
- On that note, it's worth reading Ricky O'Donnell's thing about ACL tears. It's geared toward Bulls fans waiting on Derrick Rose, but it applies to us, too. We're probably going to have to be very, very patient and willing to accept that Shump might need his own minutes limits and the occasional game off. (I will admit to being way too excited right now to even consider any of that, but it's likely.)
Two straight days of practice. Maybe the guys'll look a little sharper to close the week than they did on Monday? Please? Indiana and Chicago are hot, defensive teams and they'll stomp the Knicks even worse than the Celtics did if the effort and execution aren't much greater.