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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Notebook: Grunwald non-committal on J.R.

By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- J.R. Smith wants to retire as a Knick. His younger brother, Chris, tweeted, "I will be back with my big brother" next season. And Carmelo Anthony believes "without a doubt" J.R. will return.

But GM Glen Grunwald is not making any guarantees about the NBA's 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year.

"I’m not going to comment on any individual player because we're not finished with our evaluation," he said Tuesday. "I don't think you should read that one way or another [about Smith]. I just don’t think it’d be fair for me to start talking about, 'Yeah, we really want him back' or 'Yeah, maybe he comes back.' I think right now we’re just going to go through the evaluation. But I'm very happy for J.R. He had a great year."

AREAS TO ADDRESS: Mike Woodson said he'll evaluate the flaws in the team's offensive style, possibly looking at two main things they didn't have against the Pacers. One was an inside scoring presence.

"We didn’t have a major low-post game," he said. "That might be an area we look at as well."

The second was a lack of uptempo play.

"I just thought our pace was slow, was much slower than it was during the regular season," he said. "A lot of the times when we got stops, we really couldn’t get out and get the ball up and make plays like we were making early in the season and throughout the season."

"FRUSTRATED" CAMBY FELL OUT OF ROTATION: Marcus Camby played just 12 seconds in the Pacers series. Many observers felt Camby may have helped the Knicks in the paint and on the glass, and wondered why Woodson kept him glued to the bench. The Knicks, after all, were outrebounded by an average of 10.4 boards per game in the Pacers series.

Grunwald said Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio that Camby was healthy enough to play but simply fell out of Woodson's rotation.

"The team was playing well and the coach was comfortable with the rotation he had," Grunwald said. "The coach had success with Tyson [Chandler] and Kenyon [Martin], and he decided to keep going with that."

Camby played just 24 games this season. He was limited due to a left plantar fascia injury. Grunwald said Camby expressed frustration with his injuries and lack of playing time in exit interviews with he and Woodson.

"That's certainly understandable," Grunwald said. "But we hope Marcus will be back healthy and ready to help us. That's a very good player that we didn't have access to for substantial periods of time. ... That's certainly a player that can come back and help us."

MELO BACK AT PF? Grunwald said the Knicks may look at offensive sets that feature Carmelo Anthony at small forward next season. Anthony played almost exclusively at power forward this season. He was able to exploit matchups against bigger, slower defenders en route to his first NBA scoring title.

But Grunwald said the Knicks may look to play bigger lineups next season that would feature Anthony at small forward, his natural position.

"I think that's something [Woodson] can look at next year," Grunwald said.

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