LOS ANGELES - Mike Woodson said he treats Iman Shumpert similarly to the way he did J.R. Smith last year, but it's viewed differently.
Woodson called the perception that he doesn't like Shumpert ---- and brought it up again Wednesday unsolicited. "This thing is buzzing around out there that I don't like Iman," Woodson said. "I have a great deal of respect for Iman.
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"Last year, nobody said that when J.R. was the guy that we challenged last year and it worked out pretty well for J.R., I think. Iman, being a younger player, is a guy I see a lot of potential that I'm trying to push to get it out of him."
Woodson challenged Smith last year to be more professional and focus on basketball and he won Sixth Man of the Year. Woodson glares at Shumpert or gets on him when he sees he misses a defensive assignment or takes a bad shot.
But it is different because the Knicks aren't looking to deal Smith. Shumpert is on the trading block. He said that's not affecting him, but he hasn't been as effective on either end this season.
Shumpert had no points, rebounds or assists in Monday's loss at Portland, leading to Woodson meeting with him to see what's on his mind.
A report Wednesday said the Cavaliers reached out to the Knicks to see if they would deal Shumpert for Dion Waiters.
But the Knicks would like to get a bigger player and more of an impact player for Shumpert.
Raymond Felton return after a four-game absence because of a pinched nerve in his hip. Chris Paul isn't the best guy to face when you're coming off an injury like that. "Chris Paul is not a good matchup for anybody," Woodson said. "He's pretty damn good."
The Knicks' six-game losing streak contributed to their morning shootaround going longer than usual -- roughly 90 minutes. "It's a little bit longer than what we normally do," Woodson said. "We just kind of overextended ourselves, which is OK. They ain't got nothing to do but go back, rest and get ready for the game."