J.R. Smith active despite fever

Updated: May 11, 2013, 7:12 PM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- New York Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith is active for Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night despite a fever, the team announced.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Smith was suffering from a 102-degree fever Saturday morning, but in his pre-game news conference with reporters about 90 minutes before tipoff, Woodson said Smith's fever had subsided.

Instead of participating in shootaround, Smith remained in the team's hotel and received fluids from the medical staff.

In other injury news, Woodson said Amar'e Stoudemire will play Saturday for the first time since March 7. Woodson expects Stoudemire to play between 10-12 minutes each game off the bench against Indiana, a limit that was prescribed by the team's medical staff.

Stoudemire had missed the past two months after surgery to clean out debris in his right knee.

He has participated in scrimmages in recent days to prepare himself for game play. Stoudemire said Saturday morning that he is not feeling any soreness in his knee.

"I'm ecstatic," said Stoudemire, who averaged 14.2 points in 29 games in the regular season. "It's going to be a great opportunity for me to get back out there with my guys."

James White was placed on the inactive list to make room for Stoudemire.

Smith's illness is the latest development in a tough stretch for the NBA's Sixth Man Award winner.

He was suspended for Game 4 of the Knicks' first-round series against the Boston Celtics for elbowing Jason Terry in the face.

Since returning from the suspension, Smith has struggled with his shot, shooting just 26 percent in four games since the suspension and has missed 23-of-30 shots in the first two games of the Pacers series.

Additionally, Smith drew attention to himself when he reportedly partied with pop star Rihanna at a New York City nightclub after the Knicks' Game 2 win against Indiana.

Woodson said he has addressed Smith's shooting struggles, as well as his off-court activity in recent conversations with the player.

"Players mentally go through all kinds of things throughout the course of the season," Woodson said. "The elbow, the suspension, obviously it set him back a little bit. Somehow we've got to help him get back ... because we're going to need him."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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