Coming off knee surgery, Amar’e Stoudemire is averaging a career-low 22.8 minutes per game this season. After his best scoring performance of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers, a game in which Stoudemire dropped 22 points on 9-10 shooting, most people are suggesting that the power forward should shoulder more minutes.
However, the medical staff of the New York Knicks have set a ceiling for Stoudemire’s minutes at 30. According to ESPN New York, he does not mind the minute limit at all:
“I have no problem with that,” the power forward said. “You can be very productive in 30 minutes and so that’s my motto right now — to really come out and be aggressive and efficient in 30 minutes. I think it’s more so just about playing smart basketball offensively.”
Stoudemire has said all along that he doesn’t mind coming off the bench if that benefits the team. When it comes to his minutes, he also seems to be taking his reduced time on the floor with great professionalism.
Amar’e intends to be more efficient in his limited minutes and he has been so far this season. He is shooting 56.9% from the field, his highest mark since the 2007-08 season. Apart from his most recent game, he has had several efficient performances this season, including a 7-7 shooting night against the Orlando Magic and a 21-point game on 10-10 shooting against the Sacramento Kings.
While some might want to see more of Stoudemire, keeping him healthy remains a priority. If he continues to give the Knicks this kind of a lift off the bench, there is very little to complain about.