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Healthy Amar'e Stoudemire ready to play more minutes

Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks puts up a shot for a basket in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Amar'e Stoudemire has been outspoken about the Knicks' effort, but he hasn't been critical about his role with the team.

Derek Fisher has used a revolving door at power forward, and Tuesday night Stoudemire started for only the third time this season. "It doesn't matter," Stoudemire said. "It doesn't affect my game. My professionalism still remains. It's not going to change."

Stoudemire, who's in the final year of a $100-million contract, is the Knicks' second-leading scorer. He came into the game averaging 12.5 points in 24.3 minutes. He played 36:54 in Sunday's loss to Miami, which is his third-highest total since the start of the 2012-13 season.

"I've felt healthy all year," Stoudemire said. "I'm feeling great, my body feels strong, so whatever the coaching staff feels they need for me to do, I'm here to do that. I've been saying that for the past three years now. That's not going to change, either."

J.R. home sick

J.R. Smith is still slowed by the flu-like symptoms that contributed to him playing just 5:34 Sunday, and missing his first game this season Tuesday night. Smith stayed home, as Fisher said he didn't want him to get his teammates sick.

"It's obviously still lingering and gotten worse a little bit over the last couple of days," Fisher said. "Not just to allow him to get himself better but kind of keeping some of the symptoms away from spreading throughout the team as well, so just trying to be smart. Hopefully in the next 24, 48 hours we can have him back."

Can't measure Bargnani

Fisher made it sound as if Andrea Bargnani isn't close to returning from his latest injury. He wants Bargnani to go through multiple practices. Bargnani has yet to play this season because of a strained hamstring and strained calf. "Until he practices and is able to kind of sustain that type of output, I don't think we can measure how close he is," Fisher said.

"So for me as a coach, that's my measuring stick." Asked if Bargnani would practice Thursday, Fisher said, "Not that I'm aware of."

New York Sports