BOSTON -- Raymond Felton has been cleared for contact and remains hopeful he can play Saturday in Philadelphia.
But Felton said he will be smart and cautious because if he breaks his right pinkie again, he'll miss two to three months. "I want to play Saturday," he said. "But if I got to sit out another two more games and come back next week, that's what I'll do."
Felton, who fractured the pinkie on Dec. 25, is expected to practice with the Knicks Friday in Philadelphia. He said he expects to be sore afterward, and a decision whether to play probably won't be made until before Saturday's game. He's been dribbling and shooting without a brace the last few days.
"It's been feeling pretty good, not really that sore," Felton said. "Not saying I hope somebody hits it in practice, but I hope somebody does to see how it feels."
Mike Woodson said Wednesday that when Felton returns, he could start more conventionally with Felton and Iman Shumpert in the backcourt. He intimated that Jason Kidd could come off the bench to cut back on his minutes. But Woodson clarified that and said that's not definitely the case.
He does want to get Kidd some rest, though. Kidd, 39, isn't complaining about his extra workload, but he wouldn't object to a break at some point The Mavericks gave him games off two years ago before the postseason.
"That helps," Kidd said. "I did get a chance to play less minutes in Dallas when they gave me the week off. So I wouldn't mind somewhere in March to have that break again."
Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, has remained professional about his situation. He came off the bench for the 10th straight game. "Whatever my role is, I'm accepting it," he said. "Coach has an idea of how he wants to play the game, and I'm here for him. It's whatever it takes to help us win."
Kevin Garnett crossed the line with what he said to Carmelo Anthony the last time the Knicks played the Celtics.
"I don't exactly know what he said, but that's typical Garnett," Stoudemire said. "He's been like that his whole career. I've been accustomed to the trash-talking since my Phoenix Suns days, so I'm pretty used to it. That's what he does. That's what his legacy is about. You got to respect that."
Anthony filed an appeal with the NBA Players Association to recover the $176,000 in lost wages from the one-game suspension stemming from his confrontation with Garnett, the players' union said. The hearing will take place after the season.