Notes: Fewer minutes for Melo?

Eight games into the season, Carmelo Anthony is atop a leaderboard he probably wants no part of.

Anthony leads the NBA in minutes per game (40.8), less than a minute per game ahead of James Harden and Kevin Durant.

The New York Knicks forward played 37 minutes per game last season and has averaged 36.3 over his career.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said earlier this season he'd like to play Anthony closer to 35 minutes per game. That hasn't happened. But in defense of Woodson, the Knicks haven't blown out many opponents, so there haven't been many opportunities to rest Anthony.

"I don't want to play 45 minutes every night. But at this rate if that's what I have to do to try to help this team, then I'm all for it," Anthony said Friday at an event at the Madison Square Garden Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx.

I think Woody would be wise to taper Anthony's minutes. It's more important to play him 40 minutes per game in the playoffs than it is in mid-November.

Need to help Amar'e 'feel good' about himself: Amar'e Stoudemire was a non-factor in the Knicks' loss to the Rockets on Thursday. He played just five minutes and missed all three of his field goal attempts. Stoudemire has averaged 2.8 points and 9.8 minutes in five games. He's shooting just 37.5 percent from the field.

"I just got to get him in a better place, where he’s feeling good about himself. I got a great deal of respect for Amar’e Stoudemire. I got to help him," Woodson told ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" in an interview Friday. "He’s got to be willing to work with me and he’s done that in terms of us managing his minutes. The minutes he plays we got to get him to a point where he’s got to be productive in those minutes.

"I don’t think in the history of our game we’ve ever had a player this high-profile dealing with something like this and certainly from a coach’s standpoint I’ve never had to deal with restricted minutes. We’ve got to find a common ground for Amar’e, where he’s happy, where he can help us win."

Chandler feeling fine: Tyson Chandler lit a candle at a UNICEF ceremony in Manhattan on Friday to benefit children. At the ceremony, he was still on crutches. He said he felt fine but did not want to address a timetable on his possible return from a fractured right fibula.

ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.

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