Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Amar'e skips morning shootaround

Amar'e Stoudemire reacts after fumbling a drive to

Amar'e Stoudemire reacts after fumbling a drive to the net against the Toronto Raptors. (March 23, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Amar’e Stoudemire did not attend the Knicks' Monday morning practice as the team wanted him to skip the drive up to the practice facility so that he could rest his sore back.

Stoudemire is listed as questionable for Monday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Also listed as questionable is Jeremy Lin, the Knicks' starting point guard. Lin, who has a sore knee, did practice fully with the team Monday morning.

“I should be good to go tonight, but we’ll see we what happens,” Lin said.

Both Lin and Stoudemire are game-time decisions, said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. J.R. Smith, who is suffering from a stomach virus, also did not practice Monday morning but Woodson believes he will be able to play.

The game is a crucial one for the Knicks, who lead the Bucks by 1.5 games for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Knicks certainly would miss Stoudemire’s rebounding in this game if he can’t play. Woodson said Sunday that he will let Stoudemire make the decision before the game.

“Amar’e is a big part of what we do and he’s a big piece of the puzzle,” Woodson said. “I’d rather have him in the game than sitting there with me in a suit. But his health is more important. Moving down the road, we have to gauge it and take it a day at a time and see what happens."

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