It's only been seven games since Amare Stoudemire's last technical foul, but it feels like an eternity.
Stoudemire's last tech came on Feb. 23 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He'd been averaging one technical per every four games to that point (3.7, to be exact).
“(I’m) just trying to play smart. It takes time to get used to the quick whistles,” Stoudemire said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m somewhat used to it now.”
Stoudemire has 15 technical fouls this season. One more and he will incur an automatic one-game suspension from the NBA, something he’s obviously trying to avoid.
The league this season has tried to curtail demonstrative reactions to an official’s call.
Under new rules, Stoudemire will earn a one-game suspension for every two technical fouls he picks up after No. 16.
He said it's been "tough" not to react to official's calls this season. But at this point, he doesn't really have a choice.
Losing Stoudemire would greatly comprimise an already rail-thin Knicks front-line. It would also take 26.3 points per game out of the lineup.
“Whistles are extremely quick. It’s almost tough to have a reaction after a bad play,” said Stoudemire, whose already had two technical fouls rescinded this season. “If you’re upset at yourself or the official you really can’t react. It makes it tough on you.”
Magic center Dwight Howard served a one-game suspension on Monday for picking up his 16th technical on March 4. Without Howard, the Magic lost at home to the Trailblazers, 89-85.
Stoudemire was asked Tuesday if Howard’s suspension caused him to be more cautious with his actions on the court.
“That has nothing to do with me,” said Stoudemire. “I’m trying to stay away from that.”
The Knicks’ $100 million man has already matched his single-season high for technical fouls. He was whistled for 15 technical fouls in 2004-05 and 2006-07.