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Knicks' Hughes not playing but has D'Antoni's sympathy

Knicks guard Larry Hughes, right, drives past Detroit

Knicks guard Larry Hughes, right, drives past Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon in the first half of the Knicks' 104-87 win. (December 29, 2009) Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Mike D'Antoni says he feels Larry Hughes' pain. But it's not going to change how he makes decisions on who gets playing time.

"I'm sure he's frustrated and venting and [reporters] don't leave him alone," D'Antoni said Tuesday when asked about comments Hughes made Sunday after sitting out his second straight game. "I can understand his frustration and sympathize with him. But that doesn't change how we go about things."

It appears that Hughes may be replacing Nate Robinson in D'Antoni's doghouse. Robinson was DNP / coach's decision for 14 straight games while he and D'Antoni settled some behavior issues. He replaced Hughes in the rotation Friday against Atlanta and scored 41 points. On Sunday, after Hughes did not play again, he accused D'Antoni of "playing mind games."

D'Antoni was asked if he had communicated to Hughes that he would not be playing.

"I don't know who is going to play all the time and every minute," D'Antoni said. "He's fine and he'll be ready when we're ready to go."

Hughes said that he was not going to ask D'Antoni to sit down and talk. "I'm just going to come ready to play," he said. "It's coach's decision and I'm just going to deal with it."

Notes & quotes: Danilo Gallinari, Jared Jeffries, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Chris Duhon and Al Harrington had a shorter practice Tuesday and did not scrimmage with the rest of the team. "We have some nagging injuries and bruises and we just wanted to give some people [a rest]," D'Antoni said.

New York Sports