For two weeks over the summer, Amar'e Stoudemire trained along with Nuggets center Javale McGee at Hakeem Olajuwon's ranch in Katy, Tex., learning post-up moves and defensive tricks from the Hall of Famer.
Now that Stoudemire has returned to practice -- only with the Erie BayHawks so far -- Mike Woodson has wanted to see the ball go through the power forward on the block. The coach expects to utilize Stoudemire there when he returns, possibly as early as next week.
"We're specifically running to catch it on the block some, and work on some of the things that he worked on during this summer. I thought that was pretty good as well," Woodson said before the Bulls game on Friday night. "We're going to post Amar'e some when he comes back. We will stick him down there and try to get him the ball, and let him work a little bit and see what happens."
During his time with the BayHawks, Woodson also said Stoudemire was "moving really well up and down the floor," but defense remains a lesson to be learned.
"We've just got to get him back in the schemes of what we're doing from a defensive standpoint," he said. "Offensively, he'll figure it out as we get going."
As far as playing at the earliest on Sunday against the Timberwolves, Woodson wasn't sure. He wants to get Stoudemire in at least one to two full practices with the Knicks before any games. While the team's Christmas Day game against the Lakers may be too soon for him to play -- they go light on Saturday and fly out Monday -- it's likely he could suit up during their road trip next week.
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