Currently, Amar'e Stoudemire is on a 30-minutes cap, as determined by the Knicks' medical staff who have been monitoring the power forward's return from left knee debridement.
But before the Thunder game, Mike Woodson said Stoudemire's playing time restriction may not be in effect later this season.
"As we go up this road, maybe his minutes will increase, maybe when we get closer to the playoffs," the coach said. "That's why his minutes have got to be restricted now."
In addition, a source close to the Knicks told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this week it's important Stoudemire gets adjusted to playing more now, so he's better prepared for additional minutes in the playoffs. That's usually what happens during the critical period of the season, as coaches shorten their rotation to focus on their best players.
"Now is the time to be giving him extending minutes to see how his body reacts to it," the source said.
Stoudemire hasn't missed a game since his Jan. 1 return, and he's coming off back-to-back 22-point performances -- the last one without Carmelo Anthony in the lineup, which will be the case again on Thursday night.
I-MAN: Speaking of players coming back from injury, Woodson said that Iman Shumpert no longer has a minutes restriction. The starting shooting guard has been averaging around 20 minutes per game, so expect his playing time to gradually increase.
"We knew coming out of camp, we experimented with Pablo and Kidd playing together," Woodson said. "They were pretty good in camp and to start the season. I got away from it way back. Pablo's more of a giving point guard; he could care less about shooting the basketball, so anybody that plays around him likes that."
ENEMY LINES: Anthony is 11-1 vs. Kevin Durant, but Woodson won't have his star forward tonight for defense on the NBA's leading scorer at 28.6 points per game. Woody already knows what he's in for.
"There's nothing Durant can't do on the basketball floor from an offensive standpoint, and he's gotten better defensively," he said.
THE BREW IS BACK: Former Knick Ronnie Brewer, who was traded last month, is back in the building. He spent pregame catching up with Prigioni, Kurt Thomas and Chris Copeland. Brewer told ESPNNewYork.com that he's enjoying his time in OKC and especially likes the weather for off-the-court leisure.
"It's already in the 60s, so I can go fishing," he said of his favorite pastime.
INSTAKNICKS: Tonight, the Knicks are hosting their first-ever "#InstaKnicks Night," where fans who snap photos and post them to Instagram using the #InstaKnicks hashtag will have their photos shown in-arena or on KnicksNow.com. Tonight, the Knicks are also celebrating the NBA's Noche Latina tradition, wearing their "Nueva York" jerseys.
CHARITABLE CHANDLER: Through a partnership between NBA Cares and WildAid, promoting wildlife conservation, Tyson Chandler is involved with an initiative to reduce the illegal trade of wildlife products in China. Check out his PSA here.
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