Mike Woodson started Iman Shumpert at small forward for the second straight game Sunday night, and it sounds as if it's something he'll continue doing.
Woodson could have returned to the Knicks' opening-night lineup of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Ronnie Brewer, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. That group is 14-4. Shumpert, who played his fifth game since returning from a torn ACL, has replaced Brewer.
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"[Shumpert] is a big part of what we're doing in terms of the future," Woodson said. "We think the upside for him is going to be big, so I got to get him back going. The only way to do that is to play him some. I got some options. If it don't work, I can always go back the other way.''
Kidd played only 5:24 and didn't return after the first quarter. "He's fine," Woodson said. "I just decided to rest him."
Chandler hurts neck
Tyson Chandler had trouble moving his neck after the game and said he felt as though he "got kind of like whiplash." He added, "It kept getting worse and worse throughout the course of the game." The Knicks don't play until Wednesday, so he has time for his neck to loosen up.
Shump feels Rondo's pain
Shumpert said that when he heard Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, he grabbed his knee. "I don't wish that on nobody," he said. "I just feel real bad for him." Derrick Rose, Ricky Rubio and Lou Williams also have torn an ACL in the last year. "I don't know what's going on with our players," Woodson said, "but we've had more ACL injuries over the last two years, year-and-a-half really, than I could ever remember since I've been a part of this."
After shooting 9-for-12 from three-point range against the Hawks, Carmelo Anthony was asked if he'd ever hit 10 threes in a game, and he asked how many he made last summer in the Olympics. He was 10-for-12 while scoring 37 points in 14:29 against Nigeria . . . Woodson said it's possible that Rasheed Wallace will practice this week. Wallace (stress reaction, left foot), hasn't played or run since Dec. 13 . . . Former Knicks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson returned to the Garden. He's on the Hawks' staff . . . Told that J.R. Smith said his recent shooting struggles might stem from thinking too much, Woodson said, "He shouldn't be thinking. Hell, you only think when you're not getting much playing time. He's getting playing time, so he's just got to play."