CHICAGO -- Amar'e Stoudemire's season debut lasted just 10 minutes, and that was just fine by him.
The Knicks had a minutes limit on their big man, who finished with five points, one rebound, one assist and a steal while committing four fouls and three turnovers during the Knicks' 82-81 loss to the Bulls on Thursday night. The most important thing, though, was Stoudemire coming out of the debut without any setbacks, which was the case.
"Felt great, felt really good," Stoudemire said. "Very pleased with how I felt tonight as far as my body. Just going to continue to keep building and getting better."
Mike Woodson said Stoudemire was a bit rusty but showed that he can help the Knicks on the block. Stoudemire scored twice inside the paint and hit a free throw. The Knicks coach also used Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin together for a short stint. The two big men are supposed to alternate playing on back-to-back sets so that the Knicks can try to keep both healthy and fresh for the stretch run.
"It will come," Woodson said of Stoudemire's game. "He and Kenyon, they got to be patient with me and we got to make it work. The bottom line is we need him in a uniform helping us."
Stoudemire said he has no issues with the Knicks' game plan on bringing him along slowly to manage his knees.
"I totally understand," Stoudemire said of how the Knicks will platoon him with Martin. "If there are a couple days off (between games), we both can play. If there is a back-to-back, then one of us will choose which game to play."
"It's an adjustment period, it takes time to get used to the in-and-out type play," Stoudemire added. "Again, my teammates have been very supportive and keep on encouraging me and they look for me when I am in there."
Anthony had a chance to top Rose but missed a look that he and the Knicks can definitely live with.
Tyson Chandler is also off to a torrid start and anchored a stifling defensive effort in the fourth quarter last night, until Rose's dagger.
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