Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire cleared for contact, Woodson hopes he’ll be ready for Knicks season opener


source: AP

This must be what coaches mean when listing a player’s status as “day-to-day.”

On Friday, Amar’e Stoudemire had not yet been cleared for contact. On Saturday, he was cleared, and practiced with the Knicks in half-court situations.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Stoudemire was cleared for contact and participated in half-court drills Saturday. It was the first contact for Stoudemire since he underwent surgery on his knee over the summer. …

The Knicks and Stoudemire are hopeful he can play in the season opener on Oct. 30, but there are no guarantees at this point.

“If there’s no setbacks we hope he’ll be there for opening night,” [Knicks head coach Mike Woodson] said. “We’ll have some practice time prior to us opening and we’ll scrimmage a lot more and try to hopefully tailor some minutes in the scrimmage that will carry over into the regular season. It’s a day at a time.”

Stoudemire said he felt “explosive” during the practice session, but didn’t seem as though getting back by opening night was exactly a priority.

“The health is more important, to make sure I’m healthy,” Stoudemire said. “The real season obviously starts in the playoffs.”

Stoudemire will be tough to count on for the Knicks this season. He’ll likely be under a minutes restriction, and it’s far from guaranteed that his knees will hold up without incident after he’s had to undergo medical procedures on them three times in the past 12 months.

If the common line of thinking is true, that anything Stoudemire can give the Knicks this season is a bonus, then perhaps the team should lean more towards ensuring his readiness for the playoffs rather than trying to force him back into the rotation as soon as possible.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

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.