Mike Woodson strongly considering alternating Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin
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Fans at Friday night's unveiling of the renovated Madison Square Garden also got to see Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin make their preseason debuts for the Knicks.
After a practice on that same floor Saturday, coach Mike Woodson said seeing Stoudemire and Martin playing in the same game during the regular season might be a rare occurrence.
Woodson said he is "really considering'' alternating the two former All-Stars on a game-by-game basis as a way of keeping them healthy for the whole season.
So whichever big man plays in the Knicks' season opener on Wednesday night against Milwaukee at the Garden won't appear the next night in Chicago against the Bulls, for example.
"I just like the makeup of our team,'' Woodson said. "I think if Amar'e and Kenyon can give us something this year and we can keep them on the floor healthy, it gives us some options there.
"They won't probably play big minutes. I'm really considering alternating them from game to game. If there is a game and there's three or four days in between the next game, we can play them both. But if there's four in five nights, we're going to probably alternate each guy to play a few minutes. The next guy plays the next night.
"We can kind of manage the season that way and that they're not being lost because I pounded them too many games in a row and they weren't ready for it.''
This wasn't the first time Woodson had mentioned this plan. But that he brought it up himself four days before the opener suggests it's something he is strongly leaning toward implementing starting Wednesday.
"We're just going to take it a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time and see if we can grow with those two guys,'' he said. "I think we can.''
Woodson has brought Stoudemire and Martin along slowly. Stoudemire, who turns 31 on Nov. 16, had three knee procedures in a 10-month span. Martin, 35, has been dealing with an ankle injury from last season.
On Friday, Stoudemire had six points in 12 minutes against Charlotte as the first Knick off the bench. Martin played nine minutes and scored two points.
Stoudemire and Martin had left the court Saturday before Woodson spoke to the media. The Knicks will take a day off Sunday before returning to practice Monday to begin the final gear-up for the season.
"I'm very optimistic about our season,'' Woodson said, "and looking forward to it. We've got a lot of work on our hands, but I think everybody's up for the challenge.''
Notes & quotes: Carmelo Anthony said the acclimation of Andrea Bargnani into the Knicks' system "is not going to happen overnight . . . He's not going to adjust to the New York style, New York way of living, New York life overnight. I'm not asking for people to be patient with him, but as his teammates, we're very patient with him.''