By Colin Stephenson/The Star-Ledger

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Amar’e Stoudemire took part in the walk-through portion of the Knicks’ shootaround today and coach Mike D’Antoni said whether Stoudemire plays in Game 3 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics tonight will be a “game-time decision.” The Knicks are “pretty optimistic” the power forward will suit up.

Stoudemire is battling a strained back that he injured in warming up for Game 2 Tuesday in Boston and forced him to miss the entire second half.

“It’s tough. I think right now, a lot of it’s psychological, in the sense of, can he trust his body? Can he get out there and just be not worried about it? Every individual responds a little differently, but he’s a warrior and I don’t doubt him,” D’Antoni said of Stoudemire.

D’Antoni said he is “less optimistic” that point guard Chauncey Billups, who missed Game 2 with a strained left knee, will be able to play. Billups had blood drained, then had a cortisone shot in the knee, on Wednesday.

“He’ll keep treatments and he’ll try to test it a little bit, but a lot less probability,” D’Antoni said of Billups.

In another note, D’Antoni sidestepped a question about TNT analyst Charles Barkley’s apology to him after Barkley said Tuesday the Knicks’ coach “won’t be their coach next year.”

“It’s fine,” D’Antoni said of Barkley. “It’s a distraction in the sense I don’t really – I’ve got so many things on my plate right now in trying to get us right and going, I haven’t really thought about that much. We’ve moved on.”

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