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Amar'e Stoudemire would like NBA to lighten schedule

Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks looks on in the first half against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Amar'e Stoudemire would like to see the NBA scale back its schedule in light of so many players taking games off to rest.

"I'm a firm believer that 82 games and the preseason and playoffs is a lot for us as basketball players," said Stoudemire, who missed Saturday night's 135-129 overtime loss to the Kings with right knee soreness. "Basketball requires a lot of athletic ability. There's a lot of running, jumping, pounding, cutting, quickness. There's a lot of training that goes on even when the season's over that accumulates over time. Add to that for 15 years straight or however many years guys are playing and it's hard to keep up.

"I think it will be very smart to re-evaluate the strength of the schedule as far as games played and see how we can make something that makes sense for both sides."

Acy: unnecessary foul

Quincy Acy really had no reaction to the one-game ban for his flagrant foul 2 on John Wall on Thursday, but Acy acknowledged that his foul was unnecessary.

"I fouled him hard," he said. "The foul was unnecessary. I didn't have to foul him that hard, which is why I kept walking toward him. I was about to help him. And then he got up and pushed me . . . It was Christmas Day. It didn't turn out the way it was supposed to. It is what it is."

Bargnani's return near

Andrea Bargnani was the first Knick at the morning shootaround and did some strength work on the court. He appears close to making his season debut after sitting out with right hamstring and calf strains. Derek Fisher still doesn't know when Bargnani will play, but he talked about his "versatility" and the "positive" things he eventually can bring the Knicks.

"We can't dream about it," Fisher said. "Hopefully, it will be a reality soon."

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