Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Knicks to start J.R. Smith tonight

J.R. Smith signals after scoring a 3-pointer during

(Credit: Getty)

ATLANTA - Seven games into the season and the Knicks already will use their third different starting lineup.

Looking for a spark and a way to get the Knicks off to a better start, Mike Woodson has decided to insert J.R. Smith into the starting five. It will be Raymond Felton, Smith, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani tonight when the Knicks play the Hawks.

“I’m looking...

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J.R. Smith still has Mike Woodson's support

J.R. Smith looks on in the first quarter

(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

One of J.R. Smith’s biggest supporters has been Mike Woodson and that hasn’t changed even after the mercurial guard was suspended five games for violating the terms of the NBA’s anti-drug policy.

Woodson considered starting Smith today when he makes his season debut against the Spurs and probably will in the near future. Woodson said he trusts Smith and won’t punish him further. But Woodson,...

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Patrick Ewing will coach against Knicks tonight

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing salutes the fans in

(Credit: Getty)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Patrick Ewing has wanted the opportunity to coach a team, but he didn’t want his first time to be this way or against his old team.

Ewing will make his NBA head coaching debut Friday night when the Knicks play the Bobcats. Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford went to the hospital Thursday night after not feeling well and is undergoing further tests.

Clifford suffered...

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Takeaways from latest Knicks' loss

Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. shoots over Minnesota

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The Knicks are below .500 for the first time since March 2012. But it’s only three games into the season, so it’s not time to panic. Still there are some things the Knicks need to clean up.

Some takeaways from Sunday night’s 109-100 loss to the Timberwolves:

Bad offense led to bad defense:

The Knicks didn’t take care of the basketball and didn’t move the ball enough on offense....

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Knicks pick up Iman Shumpert's option

Iman Shumpert brings the ball upcourt during the

(Credit: Getty)

The Knicks picked up the fourth-year option on Iman Shumpert’s deal. The shooting guard is now under contract through the 2014-15 season.

Shumpert is on his rookie deal, so exercising the $2.6 million option for next season was a formality. It just had to be done by Halloween.

The Knicks can submit a qualifying offer after Shumpert’s fourth season, which would make him a restricted free...

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Chris Smith still a Knick after five are cut

Chris Smith poses with a basketball at Knicks

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

J.R. Smith’s brother, Chris Smith was one of three training camp invitees to survive cut day. The other two were combo guard Toure’ Murry and center Cole Aldrich.

The Knicks waived five players - Ike Diogu, CJ Leslie, Jeremy Tyler, Josh Powell and Chris Douglas-Roberts - before tonight’s preseason finale against the Bobcats.

Their roster as of right now stands at 15. Opening night is...

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Knicks have to decide on cuts soon

Chris Smith poses with a basketball at Knicks

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

GREEN BAY – Mike Woodson said he will sit down with new president Steve Mills, and other Knicks officials coaches and scouts after practice tomorrow and start making decisions about who will make the team.

One of the players “in the mix” according to Woodson is guard Chris Smith, whose 20 minutes of preseason action is the fewest on the team.

Woodson was asked whether Smith being the...

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Knicks banged up with regular season nearing

Andrea Bargnani poses for a photo at Knicks

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

TORONTO – Andrea Bargnani’s stiff back loosened up just in time for him to hear the boos in the city he called home for seven years.

Bargnani, who's back tightened Sunday, will play Monday night when the Knicks face the Raptors. He’ll start up front with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. The backcourt could be Beno Udrih and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Raymond Felton (strained left hamstring)...

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Amar'e Stoudemire: Carmelo Anthony's contract won't be distraction for Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire spins a basketball during Knicks' media

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Amar’e Stoudemire, who left the Phoenix Suns in 2010 when he signed a five-year, $100-million deal with the Knicks, doesn’t think Carmelo Anthony’s contract situation will be a distraction this season.

But his advice to Anthony is to not talk about his impending free agency.

“I dealt with it before,” Stoudemire said. “What I did was I kept it quiet until the actual summer. I think it...

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Knicks injury updates

Iman Shumpert at Knicks media day. (Sept.

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni were spectators during practice today, nursing sprained elbows they suffered in last night's preseason game in Baltimore. But Mike Woodson said they’re expected to be all right.

Woodson said Shumpert (sprained right elbow), Prigioni (sprained left elbow) and Metta World Peace (sprained right ankle) should be able to play Monday when the Knicks are in Toronto...

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