Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Friday, January 10, 2014
Opening Tip: How long should J.R. sit?

By Ian Begley

Smith
J.R. Smith was forced watch the Knicks' 102-92 victory over the Heat from the bench.
J.R. Smith isn't sure how long this whole benching thing is going to last.

"Honestly, I had no conversations about the situation, so I really don't know what to expect," Smith said after spending Thursday night on the bench during the New York Knicks' 102-92 win over the Miami Heat.

Mike Woodson wouldn't say much about Smith's benching after the game. But the Knicks coach did say he liked what he saw from his rotation on Thursday, a rotation that didn't include Smith.

"We are going to play it out and see how it goes," Woodson said.

Does that mean Smith will be benched for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers? What about Monday at home against the Phoenix Suns? Here's one thing we know: Woodson has been a staunch defender of Smith.

Clearly, the coach felt Smith crossed the line one too many times with his shoelace stunt. Now the question is, how long does Smith's benching last?

One thing to keep in mind here: Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. are playing pretty well, which makes Smith's benching more palatable.

If Hardaway and Shumpert continue to produce, Woodson will have an easier decision in benching Smith, if he so chooses.

I guess we'll see what happens on Saturday against the Sixers.

Up now: Smith is unsure about his future in New York after being benched against the Heat.

Woodson finally did the right thing when it comes to Smith, Ohm Youngmisuk writes.

Carmelo Anthony won the battle of superstars on Thursday night and got a chance to feel what it's like to be LeBron, Ian O'Connor writes.

What's next: The Knicks will take Friday off to prepare for Saturday's game at Philadelphia.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.