Amar'e Stoudemire to have 30-minute cap for rest of season

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Amar'e Stoudemire has never averaged less than 31 minutes per game in a full NBA season. This season, the Knicks big man won't be allowed to pass the 30-minute mark in a game even once.

New York Knicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire will likely will play under a 30-minute cap for the remainder of the season in order to preserve his health after offseason knee surgery, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.

Stoudemire, one of the league's highest-paid players, is currently playing just 22.8 minutes per game so far this season under coach Mike Woodson. On Monday, Woodson clarified that he has no plans to play the veteran more than 30 minutes in any game this year.

30 minutes is his max and whatever damage he does in the 30 minutes he'll be out there doing it. I can't go over 30 for his sake, as far as his physical condition is concerned.

Woodson appeared to be quite serious about this cap, too: Stoudemire's season-high in playing time this season is 29 minutes, 28 seconds against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 28.

Stoudemire has played well coming off the bench this season, recording per game numbers of 13.7 points and five rebounds in his limited playing time. He's knocking down 56.9 percent of his shots from the field this season, which would be his best figure in that category since the 2007-2008 season if he can keep it up.

Part of why Stoudemire has improved his efficiency this season is that he's finally playing closer to the basket after slowly drifting away in recent years. A fantastic finisher down low, Stoudemire is taking 57 percent of his shots at the rim this season, up from just 43 percent in 2011-12.

That improved play has fans clamoring to see more of this version of Stoudemire, but Woodson clearly doesn't want to risk another injury as his team finally gets healthy. That may be okay if he can play like he did on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers, knocking down 9 of 10 shots en route to 22 points in just 22 minutes.

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