Amar'e has 'pretty good' chance of playing

Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks looks on from the bench against the Miami Heat during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (May 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire shot and ran through plays at Knicks practice Saturday. He's a game-time decision for Game 4 Sunday afternoon.

Stoudemire still hasn't scrimmaged or had any contact since he cut his left hand by hitting the glass panel that held a fire extinguisher Monday in Miami. It will be up to him and team doctors whether he will play in perhaps the Knicks' final game this season. Interim coach Mike Woodson called Stoudemire's chances of playing "pretty good."

"He looked pretty good out on the floor," Woodson said. "But it's not going to be my decision. It's going to be the doctors and his decision to play."

Stoudemire, who didn't speak to reporters Saturday, said Friday that if he comes back, it will be for his teammates and the fans who supported him. Stoudemire was bothered by criticism he received for letting his frustrations get the better of him. Woodson thinks the fans will forgive Stoudemire.

"They should be supportive," Woodson said. "Amar'e has, I think, been pretty solid all year. Hey, it was bad judgment on his part what he's done. But he's in a New York uniform. He's a big part of what we do. I love Amar'e. These fans, they know he made a mistake, but they'll be in his corner, I think."

If Stoudemire can play, Woodson said he hadn't determined whether he will start or come off the bench. If he can't play, Woodson likely will return Steve Novak, who was scoreless as a starter in Game 3, to his usual reserve role. He said he might start J.R. Smith in that case to "have some kind of offensive firepower."

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Woodson anxious for a W

Woodson, who wants to return as Knicks coach, hopes his 18-6 regular-season finish will be remembered more than this playoff series. But he said he is concerned about how a sweep would look for him.

"I don't want this record to continue,'' he said. "I want to see our guys experience what a win is like in playoff basketball. We've got one more opportunity to do it here at home in front of our fans. I'm going to push guys to be ready, try to play at a high level and play over 48 minutes."

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