For now, it all makes sense to Amar’e Stoudemire. Coming off three knee surgeries in 10 months, including another this past offseason, Stoudemire is on a minutes restriction and won’t play in back-to-back games with the Knicks.

He played Thursday in Game 2. So he sits Sunday in Game 3. Despite the 2-0 Timberwolves bringing a big front line to the Garden that includes power forward moose Kevin Love, the 6-foot-11 Stoudemire gets the night off. That would make him 1-for-3. It’s hard, but it’s smart to accept it. At least now, Stoudemire said.

“It’s not easy when you’re known for being a superstar player and then having to accept the role of coming off the bench and then also limited minutes, it’s never easy,” Stoudemire said Saturday about sitting. “It’s definitely a process that you have to mentally prepare yourself for. But at the same time, it’s for the betterment of the team and also it’s better for yourself, to prepare yourself to heal and be ready for the longevity.”

So coach Mike Woodson said “I’m going big” against Minnesota, meaning Andrea Bargnani starts at power forward and Kenyon Martin is the chief reserve big man. Martin did a few minutes in the Thursday loss in Chicago, where Stoudemire played a rust-caked 10:40.

“They got some minutes to spare, because we didn’t play Kenyon very many minutes,” Woodson said after practice Saturday, “so Kenyon will get the minutes [Sunday].”

There is no real etched-in-stone minutes distribution. It’s all depends on schedule, days off, opponent size, everything short of intergalactic positioning of the planets. But with the likes of Love — “He’s a load. I mean, he can play outside and he can post the ball, and he’s a hell of a rebounder,” Woodson said — the big lineup comes into play. Just without Stoudemire, who gets four off days — Friday through Monday, exclusive of practice work. And he welcomes the rest.

“Absolutely,” Stoudemire said. “I’m surprised it’s not a mandatory thing around the league because that recovery day is scientifically proven that you can recover and prevent injury and get guys healthy. I’m glad that we jumped on that early and we figured it out.”

But there likely will come a time when sitting becomes less appealing and Stoudemire will want to push the minutes envelope.