Adam ZagoriaIman Shumpert ran with the starters on Tuesday, and coach Mike Woodson said the third-year guard will start Thursday against the Wizards in Baltimore.
After insisting that J.R. Smith was better coming off the bench last season when he averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, Woodson is now holding an open competition between Smith and Shumpert.
“I like to think J.R. will have gotten better and learned from last year in terms of from a defensive standpoint,” Woodson said. “I know Iman brings it defensively, and I think Iman has gotten a little bit better offensively, too, in terms of how he’s doing things on the floor. But I want more. I want him to be a better pick-and-roll player. I want him to run the team when he has the ball in his hand. And I want him to be smarter defensively.”
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.