<
>

Stoudemire to make first start Wednesday at Spurs

Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire has been slated to make his first start of the season Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

The rising star underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee a year ago and averaged 16 minutes in only three games last season.

"Eventually he's going to start anyway, so we might as well get going and get our rotation down and try to do what we're going to do," D'Antoni told the Arizona Republic. "We're going to try everything to get him jump-started. If he's more comfortable that way, gets some adrenaline going, then we'll try it. We're going to try everything until we hit on the right solution."

Stoudemire's playing time has been limited early this season, but he continues to be optimistic.

"I think the decision was something Coach D'Antoni made on his own judgment," Stoudemire told the Republic. "I'm just happy to be back out there with these guys and I'm ready to get off on the right track. I think being out there with the first group is always great. I think it's going to help us as a team, just that energy and effort I try to bring."

During the 2005 playoffs, Stoudemire provided a much needed fire for the Suns against the Spurs. His 38 points per game against the Spurs that season and his inspired play against Spurs forward Tim Duncan in the playoffs raised many eyebrows.

"Tell you what, Tim Duncan is a great player. Playing against him my first game starting is ... a privilege."