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Mike Woodson: To play, J.R. Smith must get with program

Mike Woodson speaks with J.R. Smith during a

Mike Woodson speaks with J.R. Smith during a game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 8, 2013) Credit: Mike Stobe

INDIANAPOLIS - Mike Woodson said if J.R. Smith isn't with the program, he should get used to sitting at the end of the Knicks' bench.

"Put it this way, he's going to have to be with it if he's going to want to be a part of it,'' Woodson said. "As a coach, it's my job to make sure that that happens.''

After being benched for the second time in four games Tuesday in Charlotte, Smith returned to action Thursday night against Indiana and had 12 points in 28 minutes in the Knicks' 117-89 loss.

Smith reportedly expressed frustration about playing only 45 seconds of the overtime Monday against Phoenix, then was late for a team meeting Tuesday.

Woodson keeps stressing that Smith needs to be more of a professional. When asked if he now knows how to make sure he's not benched anymore, Smith said, "Yes and no. I think it's a combination of some things. We got to work that out within the team and go from there.''

Smith excelled last season, averaging 18.1 points and being named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, but has been in trouble with the league and his team this season. The NBA fined Smith $50,000 last week for untying opponents' sneakers during games. He also posted an Instagram with "betrayal'' in it that appeared to be directed at the Knicks for waiving his brother Chris.

Woodson reiterated that at this point he doesn't need to discuss anything else with Smith.

"I expect J.R. to be a pro and concentrate on playing basketball,'' he said. "It's a privilege to play in this league. You got to do all the necessary things, the right things on and off the court.''

Stoudemire, Martin down

Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin left with left ankle sprains, and Woodson said both will miss a few games.

X-rays of Stoudemire's ankle were negative. He rolled his ankle on a drive to the basket in the third quarter, will be re-evaluated Friday and could undergo an MRI.

Stoudemire said "hopefully" he will be back within the week. But Carmelo Anthony made it sound more serious for Stoudemire and Martin, who missed time earlier this season with a sprained left ankle.

"Amar'e sprained his ankle really bad," Anthony said. "Kenyon said his ankle felt different than it did before."

Tim Hardaway Jr. had X-rays of his left wrist that were negative.

See you Monday

Woodson said Pablo Prigioni (fractured big toe) is shooting to return Monday against the Nets.

New York Sports