January, 20, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- During the Knicks' roughly two-hour practice on Sunday, Mike Woodson organized a film viewing and conditioning session, in which Raymond Felton took part.
Still, the point guard hasn't taken contact yet. In terms of his return date, Woodson said he didn't know, but Felton said last week he's targeting Jan. 26 against the Sixers.
As for Rasheed Wallace, the coach said, "Heís still rehabbing. Thatís about it."
Jerry Stackhouse didn't sound too optimistic about his former college teammate's return anytime soon. He told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday, "Hopefully he gets back. It's been tough for him dealing with that issue."
A BIG ASSIST: Last week, Woodson said Jason Kidd's extended minutes were "not healthy." Now that Iman Shumpert is back and Felton's next, Kidd knows that's a big relief.
"As time goes on, [Shumpert] will start to eat some of those minutes up for me," he said. "Also, I think when Ray gets back, that definitely helps."
FIRST TIME ALL-STAR? The All-Star reserves will be announced on Jan. 24, and J.R. Smith will be considered. The nine-year veteran is averaging career highs in points (16.7), rebounds (5.1) and assists (3), and he's recently stepped up big in a point guard role since Felton got injured on Dec. 25.
"It would mean a lot, of course," Smith said. "It would be the first time I would be selected, especially as a bench player. So it would mean a lot to me and my team."
After Sunday's practice, Smith worked with Woodson and Herb Williams on different L cuts from the block. The idea was to help him improve his off-ball movement and quickly shoot off the pass without hesitation. The Knicks could run more down-screen sets for Smith.
LOOK OUT!: Smith's younger brother, Chris, is ahead of his recovery from left patella tendon surgery. Interestingly, not only did he have tendonitis in that knee at Louisville, but he also played with a joint mouse in the area. It wasn't until he joined the Knicks that it was discovered.
The younger Smith, who's still under contract with the Knicks, plans to resume playing in April and then join the 'Bockers' summer league team in Las Vegas. Several insiders around the NBA believe he's going to be a good point guard.
MLK DAY: On Monday, the country will celebrate the lifelong pursuits of Martin Luther King, Jr., who helped millions of people in the fight for racial equality and social justice. Woodson described how the day is special for him.
"It means a lot -- not for just African-Americans, but for all people," he said. "His stature, los(ing) his life fighting for equality and peace -- things that we're still struggling with today in our society. It says a lot, that you risk your life for something like that. Yes, it's opened the doors for me to probably be able to do a lot of things that I do today, but it's opened the doors for all people of color, and that's important."
You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.