Minute By Minute, Stoudemire’s Frustration Grows


VIDEO: Amar’e Stoudemire throws down a jam vs. Hawks

Break it all down – the emotions, the analytics, the money, everything – and the building blocks of the NBA are minutes. Games, seasons, careers are constructed Doobie Brothers-style, minute by minute by minute by minute.

Add one more minute to that and you’d have what now is a typical shift for the New York Knicks by Amar’e Stoudemire, whose frustration with his mandated limit of playing time is growing. Hoping to preserve and protect the veteran forward’s notoriously balky knees, the Knicks have limited Stoudemire to 10 minutes nightly, broken into two turns on the floor. Five minutes here, five minutes there and, oop, time’s up. Sit down again.

This is no chicken-or-egg thing where Stoudemire’s meager production so far this season – 3.2 points per game, 1.8 rebounds and 38.1 percent shooting in six games, while sitting out back-to-back situations – is dictating his modest level of involvement. It’s strictly in the other direction. And it stinks for him, based on Stoudemire’s comments to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley before New York’s game Saturday:

“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.

And:

“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.”

Playing time for the freshly recovered,  the oft-injured or even the gradually worn down of the NBA is a tricky thing. If Stoudemire can play two shifts of five minutes each,  at what point does that bump up to six, then seven? Maybe he’d be more comfortable logging his 10 minutes in one fell swoop and calling it a night – at least that way, there wouldn’t be two warm-and-loosen-up periods of adjustment.

It’s an age-old debate in this league. Does a player get appreciably more worn down if he’s on the floor for 40 minutes rather than 35? Does sitting out a game help a weary or gimpy veteran more than shaving back his court time or – while using him each game – even cutting it in half for a week?

Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett worked out what both considered the best possible compromise between usage and rest-age during their final couple seasons in Boston. Former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and his boss John Paxson got into a heated exchange back in 2009-10 when Del Negro kept a rehabbing Joakim Noah on the court too long.

Some players are resilient in how they spring up off the bench. Others need to be in the starting lineup as a way of staying lathered up from warm-ups, and stiffen up unduly once they cool down. Stoudemire, it sounds like, needs to be part of the action from the get-go, rather than trying to hop aboard a train that’s already moving.

It’s an individual call, or rather, a call hashed out between management, head coach and player. Stoudemire and Knicks coach Mike Woodson met on Saturday morning, Begley reported, to discuss the matter.

“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.”

Here’s another factor possibly exacerbating the situation for Stoudemire: Everyone knows about the proverbial “New York minute” and how rapidly it flies by. Stack up five of those puppies and that still might be no longer than a blink in Milwaukee or Salt Lake City.

59 Comments

  1. Gillsy says:

    He will get many more minutes next year when Melo goes the Nets after KG retires at the end of the year.

  2. spursfan says:

    trade melo, amare and felton for nash, pau and kaman.
    that’s the only thing they can hope for. but naah, the lakers can’t do that
    so it means NYK can only hope for an early vacation or a 1st round
    exit at 0 wins.

  3. The Ugly Truth says:

    1.Desperate knicks pay WAY too much money for a guy that was never a superstar ( Nash made him look better than he was) allstar at his best, with injury problems just to bring at least a buzz to the garden and fill some seats. 2. That team was a possible 6th to 7th seed at best floating around .500 wins. With Amare getting now Melos 25 to 30 attempts a game. 3. Carmelo arrives cutting Stats attempts turning him into a role player at best. Until Stats injury prone tendencies show up ( like phoenix feared) making him less than that when he did play. 4. Fast forward a Chandler and AB contract later and now the knicks have no money to get the help they need this year in free agency or ANY attractive trade bait other than Shumpert who is one of the few bright spots on the knicks and who may be on his way out soon for a player who won’t save the knicks season . To sum it up this and next years knicks= Hopeless

  4. vern says:

    Knicks should’ve kept David Lee. I think that’s who they let go for Amare’s uninsured contract.

  5. Rapha says:

    I feel bad for amare. I would really like to see him getting back to his old days. Despite being a Magic fan, we went to high school together and I wish him the best. Keep your head up STAT!!!

  6. Vitaliy says:

    While Chandler is out, they should be starting Amare and playing him 20-25 mpg. If he cant hold up for 20 mpg he has no business being part of the rotation. If Amare and the Knicks do well during Chandlers absence then you consider bringing Bargs off the bench to add that extra punch.
    I felt that Amare had plenty juice left before this minutes restriction. If he can stay relatively healthy he can have a big impact.

  7. Jacknohara says:

    Since the Knicks signed stoudamire (actually they´ve let David Lee go away to sign amare) , i´ve said it was a dumb move to spend that much in a PF with bad knees who can´t rebound or play D ….. and surprise ! …. he´s still a PF who can´t rebound or play any D …. and now he´s older, and he thinks he “still has it” (what is this “it” is a really hard question) WHO IN A SANE MIND WOULD TAKE THIS GUY AND ACTUALLY PLAY HIM ??? the only reason somebody is going to trade for him is for cap and salary reasons .

  8. jordy says:

    Amare to dallas and dalles gives away samuel dalembert and bernard james.

  9. The Rock says:

    Amare, if i were you i will sign with the Spurs. I can help Spitter and Timmy. And after Timmy retires. You can be starting 5.

  10. kek says:

    Hard to not feel bad for the guy, one of the hardest working players in the nba, and he got injured over and over again, Amare still looks quick and fresh but just rusty, and can still blow by players and dunk in their face.

  11. Mutombos Finger says:

    When playing for 5 minute stints you have to play defence, get rebounds and hustle… Stoudemire has never done that at any point in his career

  12. Vin says:

    Waste of money for the Knicks!

    • BasedonStats says:

      Talent doesn’t just cease to exist. Play the dude…he’s a perenial all-star for goodness sake. They aren’t gaining much by playing him 5 minutes anyways so why not see if he can still produce. If he gets injured oh well. Mike Woodson needs to instill some discipline to the talented kings of the chuckers (melo and jr) and get everyone else involved. Knicks offense consist of Melo holding the ball till the end of the shot clock and Jr doing the same when Melo is on the bench. That’s not a good strategy when you have guys like Felton, Shumpert, Barg, Martin, STOUDEMIRE, and even the incosistent World Peace who can score the ball.

  13. newimproveDon says:

    Amare to LA Lakers for Kaman

  14. Skullo says:

    We don’t need that bum in the lakers…he can stay with the knicks and hopefully bring the knicks a championotship.

  15. Naz says:

    It was a good decision by the Suns not to pay him a max contract as they were afraid of this exact situation happening to them.
    ATM the Knicks are not a championship team, they need Melo to get 40 points just to be in the game, you can’t keep on winning like this. They either need to play Amare more minutes or try to find a trade but how many teams are willing to take on a huge contract for a often injured player.

    The Knicks took the risk and they are paying for it now.

  16. Chad says:

    Go to Dallas!

  17. ronnie says:

    People forget that before Amar’e Stodermire came to new york, the knicks were not a play off team. Amar’e turned that team around into play off contenders and i think the knicks should give him more minutes so his production on the court will go up. And if he is healthy enough to go on the court, i think he should be able to play 25 to 30 minutes a night.

  18. Sam says:

    Amare should be given more minutes, a better coach and management would have done that . It is so sad to see such talent getting wasted .

  19. Bird33 says:

    Amare needs another Nash to make him great again. And, of course, a Melo trade. lol

  20. Knicks Tape says:

    Hang in there Amare! I believe you still have game just focus on defending while you’re out there and demand the ball in the post here and there.

  21. Basketball jones says:

    Championship?! Are you joking?! It’s pretty much the same team as the old Denver Nuggugets and look far they got to. Only difference is they added few players.

  22. miami says:

    amare’s best came out beacause of nash,and that made think he’s great enough to lead a team,which is wrong

  23. sean says:

    Trade him to the lakers for Pau Gasol

  24. killerbucks1 says:

    J.R. should trade minutes with Stoudemire then the Knicks could win some games.

  25. killerbucks1 says:

    J.R. should be getting Stoudimires minutes

  26. Robert says:

    At least let him be a starter for one game and see how he does if he does good. He could play center or power forward. And when chandler comes back bench bargani!

  27. jb says:

    I like amare but I feel since melo came they have not cared about stat and that is why NY has not got out the east semi the team was built for 2 stars not 1 and stat can go to other teams and get more mins. NY is crashing anyways and watch melo leave this summer…

  28. jay says:

    kindly limit anthony’s playing time. don’t let anthony dictate the entire knicks organization.

  29. jay says:

    trade carmelo knicks will do good

  30. let him play says:

    STAT has a lot left in the tank man.. let him play his heart out and get back into his 2010 rhythm! His knee surgeries are done.. let him play and give him a chance. This guy was Blake Griffin before there ever was a Blake Griffin.

  31. kobe says:

    stat was only good becuz of nash, period. just as k-mart was nothing without kidd

  32. Amare will never be the same player he once was…

  33. stvek says:

    NYK will never win a championship with melo … there i said it, it’s nuttin but a circus now. The the knicks best year s are behind in the ewing/sprewell/houston/camby era .

  34. Rexillion says:

    I think if he can keep healthy by midway through the season they should chuck him in give him more minutes. He has some valid points about not being able to build on anything playing in 5 minute intervals, albeit he has been less than disappointing during these intervals. But talent just doesn’t disappear. I bet if this guy got traded to a team needing a PF he would be back to his old self. He’s got to much game to be a bench warmer.

  35. exiled says:

    With carmelo shooting 30+ a game , there is nochamce to play anyone else period

  36. manny says:

    Stodomire productivity depends entirely on number of touch’s. he should take this opportunity to try become more of an energy guy. Blocks, deflections rebounding are things that you can do with just 10 minutes

  37. Greg says:

    Stars dont know how to play for 5 minutes at a time, they have never had to do it in their lives, much less in the best league in the world.They are rhythm players who need to get going not only in their shooting, but every part of the game. that’s why guys who can come off the bench and hit shots are so rare

  38. FACE THE FACTS says:

    It’s a shame! Once in MVP-talk and a 30+ mashine is now scrutinized by everyone, even his own organization. Even if he might break down any minute, PLAY HIM MORE!!!

  39. John says:

    Stoudimire your game is not gone but you must play your heart out with the given minutes that you get. Only time will tell, and eventually u will win back the crowd and get more minutes. Just hang in there for now!

  40. Dave says:

    kendrick perkins for stoudermire would be a heck of a trade for both team i think…

    • don't reach youngblood says:

      No thanks, Amare’s contract is the worst in the NBA throw Shumpert in and then maybe, just maybe they will consider it

  41. fabrice says:

    Amare can’t play anymore, it’s sad but it’s true.

  42. knicksfan says:

    Put him on first 5 he needs to get back into his rhythm.. Put amare smith anthony shump/felton And chandler

  43. lakers & Knicks says:

    nash and stud duo anyone?

    bring him to the lakers

    amare and shumpert for pau!

  44. Romeo Aguirre says:

    Feel bad for the big guy and the Knicks hope everything works out I would really love to see this group get a championship but we will see what happens

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      a championship with this current Knicks roster? that is Highly unlikely… I find it hard to feel bad for a guy is making more in one year than you and me will ever make in both our lifetimes combined. If Amare cant play more than 10 minutes every other game then I think its time for him to consider an early retirement after this season (similar to Chris Webber who was forced to retire due to injuries)

      By retiring either mid-season or after this season then Amare is doing what is best for the Knicks organization and himself, He’s a shell of his old self, its almost pathetic to watch him play. Not every player is lucky enough to have such a long career, I think Amare is one of the unlucky ones.

      • knicksfan says:

        Early retirement? He is making money why retire? Haha

      • anonynous says:

        Ok it never said amare coudn’t play more than 10 mins, it said the KNICKS weren’t letting him play more. He deserves better.

      • Julio says:

        Amare is not done being great. Not many people know this but Amare is the first player in NBA history to be drafted from high school and win the rookie of the year. Kobe didn’t do it and neither did Garnett. Amare was the first to do it and pave the way for guys like LeBron and Howard to do it,
        Amare is a first ballot hall of famer if he has a couple of great more years in him.

      • Pitra Hynt says:

        @Julio, I highly doubt Amare will ever be a hall of famer. In my honest opinion, it will not happen. You have to understand something when you say Amare is the first player drafted outside of high school to win RotY, he won it because of the other rookies in his draft. Take, the draft Kobe was in – and look at the other players in that draft; or even Garnett;s draft year. If you still think that Amare would have been RotY in those drafts, then idk what you’ve been watching.

        Kobe and Garnett are guaranteed future hall of famers, Amare, will not make the cut.

        I love his game, he rebuilt NY himself when he first got traded in, got them in the playoffs. But face reality, he’s injured now – and to be honest, the Knicks do not need him. They need help to go deep in the playoffs, unfortunately – that help is not Amare.

      • 1. Amare will not retire cuz he gets paid tons of money
        2. Amare is overrated…he can’t do $h*t without steve nash
        3. and hes over paid too