It’s not just Carmelo Anthony for whom the Knicks know they have to monitor minutes when he returns.

Amar’e Stoudemire has seen his 30-minute limit pushed beyond that number - playing 31 minutes, 55 seconds Monday in Cleveland, and 30 minutes, 39 seconds Wednesday in Detroit, the only two games he has exceeded 30 since he came back from knee surgery Jan. 1.

The numbers become particularly important because the Knicks are in a stretch in which they play 18 games in March, including four games in five nights capped by Thursday night’s game against Oklahoma City.

"That’s why as we go up this road, maybe his minutes will increase. [But] maybe we get closer to the playoffs or get in a playoff series," coach Mike Woodson said. "That’s why his minutes have to be restricted. That reason alone.

"When you’re playing back-to-back and four games in five, you can’t play him 30-plus minutes. You just can’t do it. I’ll be looking a month from now and him sitting next to me. I don’t think that’s the smart thing to do.’’