New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire dunks during their NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland

Woodson confirms Stoudemire to have minutes limit


The New York Knicks will have Amar’e Stoudemire back next season… but kind of as a part time guy.

The minute limit that Stoudemire was on at the end of last season to keep his knees healthy after coming back from surgery will continue into the next season, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said to the New York Post.

The Knicks had talked about a 20-minute cap limit on the forward, and they also discussed limiting his playing in back-to-back games.

“Right now, as it stands, he’s going to be on some restrictions,’’ Woodson said. “What those restrictions will be, I don’t know yet.’’

This isn’t a big hit as the Knicks essentially played last season without Stoudemire.

The problem is if the Knicks are going to take a step forward to compete with the Heat, Pacers, Bulls and the others at the top of the East they are going to need more out of guys who didn’t contribute as much before. The Knicks have not been in a financial position to add players so they neeed more from guys on the roster.

Stoudemire could be one of those guys who boosts the Knicks talent level, but now he’s going to have to do it in 20 minutes a game. Which is not going to be much.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.