The Saturday comeback is on schedule as Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Thursday he plans on giving Amar’e Stoudemire 10-to-15 minutes in Game 3 as he gears up for his first outing since March 8.
The Knicks and Pacers are tied 1-1 in the second-round series as it switches to Indiana with a new face on the bench for Woodson's club.
Last time Stoudemire made a comeback on Jan. 1, from the same knee-debridement surgery, he took a half-dozen games to get his timing back. He doesn’t have such a luxury now.
“I expect to contribute the best I can,’’ Stoudemire said today. “I don’t have time to find my rhythm. I have to be ready from the start. That’s what it’s going to be.’’
Stoudemire participated in a 4-on-4 scrimmage Thursday, looking a little less rusty than he did in his first scrimmage Monday, playing mano-a-mano against Earl Barron. Stoudemire, who shook free for a couple of spinning dunks, will take Friday as a recovery day.
“I feel similar to the way I came back the first time,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been in the playoffs my entire career. I’ve played alongside a lot of great players. I know what it takes in the postseason.’’
Carmelo Anthony said he thinks Stoudemire can help but knows it will be in limited time.
But as Stoudemire said Thursday, “Anytime you’re on the court, you have a chance to make an impact on the game. However much time Coach Woodson puts me in for, I’m definitely going to contribute.’’