Amar'e Stoudemire said his two-week tutorial under Hakeem Olajuwon is not only starting to pay dividends for his $100,000 well-spent, but it's not just a one-time deal. With the way the Knicks big man's low-post game is developing, Stoudemire hopes to learn even more from the Hall of Fame center.

"I've put in so much work to where I was expecting this to happen at the start of the season, but unfortunately with the injuries, I was out for 20-something games,'' said Stoudemire. "Over time, I've become more comfortable with repetitions and I feel the experience growing. It's happening naturally for me.

"I love learning the game of basketball, and I love improving as a player and becoming a complete player. Learning from him will hopefully be an ongoing thing."

Stoudemire spent two weeks in Houston with Olajuwon — who just turned 50 — and the Hall of Famer then came to New York for a low-key week as well. But for a big man, getting one-on-one post instruction from Hakeem The Dream might as well have been lessons from a burning bush or from off a mountaintop.

"For those two weeks I was such a student of the game, I was like his wallet: When he moved, I moved,'' said Stoudemire. "I was studying him and soaking up all the knowledge and getting an understanding of what it takes to be great. He did a great job of teaching me.''

After shooting just 44.2 percent in his first seven games back from knee surgery, Stoudemire has shot 66.7 percent in six games since. And even though Mike Woodson said he plans to go with Carmelo Anthony at power forward tonight against the Bucks and bring Stoudemire off the bench, the Knicks coach was effusive in saying Stoudemire's post play has taken a quantum leap forward.