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Smith Questionable, Stoudemire Back

by Mark Montieth | askmontieth@gmail.com

May 11, 2013, 12:25 PM | Updated 12:45 PM

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Knicks forward J.R. Smith missed the team's shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday morning and is questionable for tonight's playoff game with the Pacers.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year this season, had a 102-degree temperature.

“We just have to see where he is at game-time. I don't know at this point,” Woodson said following the Knicks' practice.

Woodson said he wasn't sure how he would account for Smith's absence if he is unable to play.

“I have to figure it out,” he said.

“It's a part of it, and I'm not complaining. I'm in the thick of a playoff run. We have an opportunity to steal homecourt back and that's all I'm worried about. I can't worry about who's not going to play. I have to push the right buttons to see that it gets done.”

Pacers coach Frank Vogel refused to find an advantage for his team in Smith's potential absence.

“They're so deep,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He obviously helps what they do, with his ability to create his own offense and his three-point shooting, but if he doesn't play that's probably more minutes for (Steve) Novak or somebody like that who can burn you in different ways.”

Pacers forward David West was similarly unmoved.

“(Smith's absence) means more opportunities for a guy like Carmelo (Anthony) and (Iman) Shumpert and (Raymond) Felton to be more aggressive,” West said.

The Knicks, meanwhile, will get Amar'e Stoudemire back for tonight's game. Stoudemire, who has not played since having knee surgery on March 11, has played in just 29 games this season. The 30-year-old averaged 14.2 points in those games.

“We'll work him into the mix and see what he's got,” Woodson said. “He won't play very many minutes. If he gets 10 to 12 minutes tonight, it's got to be the best 10 to 12 minutes to help us win.”

Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, pronounced himself ready.

“Whatever I need to do, I'm ready for,” he said. “I'm not sure I can play 40 minutes tonight, but I feel great for the amount of time I'm going to play.”

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