Stoudemire: Minutes limit 'hard to deal with'
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is growing frustrated with the minutes limit the team has placed on him.
"It's making me look like my game is gone or that I don't have game anymore because when you play five minutes, it's just tough to really get in a rhythm," Stoudemire said before Saturday night's 110-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
In an effort to protect his oft-injured knees, the Knicks have placed Stoudemire on a limit of 10 minutes per game. He has been playing two five-minute intervals.
"It's tough to play five minutes and expect to be great in five minutes. It's almost impossible," he said. "By the time you get up and down and get adjusted to the speed of the game, it's already three minutes, and then in two minutes you're out of there. And if you miss a shot, it feels [like] the world is collapsing on you because you're expected to do so much and somewhat win the game in five minutes and it's tough. It's hard to deal with."
Stoudemire has played in six of the Knicks' nine games this season and sat out one game of each back-to-back set. Entering play Saturday, he had averaged 2.8 points on 37 percent shooting in 9.8 minutes. He had five points in a season-high 14 minutes on Saturday.
Stoudemire and Woodson met on Saturday morning to discuss playing time.
"I know it's tough on him in terms of playing just 10 minutes because he's just, hell, he's barely breaking a sweat," Woodson said.
"So I think we've got to get him more reps on the [practice] floor, just see how he feels."
Stoudemire said before the game that he believes his minutes in games will increase. The 31-year-old hopes to be used in a similar fashion to the way Tim Duncan is used by the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan averages 30 minutes per night but has sat out two of the Spurs' 10 games in an effort to stay fresh.
"There's a lot of pressure to go out there in five minutes and be great, which is almost impossible to do. Because a mistake seems like 30 mistakes, know what I mean?" Stoudemire said. "But I do think the Tim Duncan method with him playing 25 one night, 20-25 a game later and then resting on the four in five nights or three in four nights is pretty logical."
Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, has a long history of knee issues. He had three knee procedures in a 10-month span, the most recent coming in July.
The 11-year veteran played in just 29 regular-season games last season due to recurring knee issues. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees to clean out debris.
Stoudemire also had microfracture surgery on his knee in 2005.
He is in the fourth season of a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks. He will make a combined $45 million this year and next. Stoudemire's contract is uninsured due to his previous knee issues.
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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