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Above all else, Amar’e Stoudemire is looking forward to the rest time he and his New York Knicks will be getting.

Recent comments coming from New York about the Knicks ‘looking forward to their UK break’ are being misinterpreted and that rather than it being a sleight on their 14-24 opponents, the Detroit Pistons, it’s more about the invaluable rest his side will get.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the Pistons, more so that we have a few days in between games – Two days before the actual game tomorrow and then we have two days after that,’ said Stoudemire, moments before the Knicks began an open training session at the O2. ‘Having one game in five nights is a great time for us to really heal up and get ourselves back into top shape.’

Those bonus rest days will no doubt benefit the 30-year-old power forward who is currently feeling his way back around the league following a knee injury sustained in pre-season. That progress may receive a boost on Thursday with STAT confident he will play ‘significant minutes’ during the regular season fixture in London.

“I feel great,” Amar’e declared when talking about his recovery and reclaiming the starting spot. “I feel like it’s just more and more time to sharpen up the skills a little bit, get better offensively and then we’ll see.”

“It’s up to the coaching staff [when I become a starter]. It’s going to happen soon. The more I improve, the more I play. I’m pretty sure it’ll happen soon.”

A capacity crowd await the Knicks and Pistons tomorrow night when the two sides take their positions on the O2 floor.

Tickets for the tie sold-out quickly and although the game counts as a Detroit Pistons home game, Stoudmire believes that the Knicks have an opportunity to convert some of the undecided Brits in attendance.

“It’s great for the NBA to be able to expand the brand. Also for the Knicks to be able to establish a fan base here in the UK, so it’s a great opportunity for us.

“The fans here have been amazing and it will be great tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to a great audience and a great game.”