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Mike Woodson says Amar'e Stoudemire will be in rotation when he can play

Amar'e Stoudemire looks on from the bench during

Amar'e Stoudemire looks on from the bench during a game against the Boston Celtics. (April 20, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Amar'e Stoudemire was on the Knicks' bench in a suit Saturday. When he is ready to put on a uniform, Mike Woodson said, he will be back in the Knicks' rotation.

Stoudemire continues to rehab from right knee surgery. Woodson already has said he doesn't expect him to be available in the first round.

"Amar'e is going to always be a big piece of our team," Woodson said. "That's without a doubt. He's progressing right along. When he's going to play, I don't know at this point. But if he's able to make it back, he will be back in the rotation ready to play.

"I'm expecting him to do what he was doing before he left, because he played some pretty good, positive minutes for our ballclub before he got hurt."

Stoudemire last played March 7 against Oklahoma City. He appeared in 29 games and averaged 14.2 points off the bench. The Knicks could use a post presence in the playoffs, but their spacing has been better without Stoudemire.


Prigioni update

Woodson said he doesn't know if Pablo Prigioni (sprained ankle) will make his playoff debut in Game 2. More will be known Monday when the Knicks return to practice.

"If he looks good by Tuesday, if he feels pretty good, I'm going to play him," Woodson said. "We've just got to wait for Tuesday to get here to see where we are with him."

Woodson said not having Prigioni might have been a factor when the Knicks' offense sputtered in Game 1.

"We had some slow time where it was very stagnant," Woodson said. "Then there were times we had movement and we had good looks that we just didn't make shots.

"When you play playoff basketball, it's not going to always go pretty offensively for you. That's probably the first thing that normally goes because everybody is so locked in from a defensive standpoint."

New York Sports