Notes: Shumpert sits out again

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert missed a second straight day of practice Friday due to a sore right shoulder.

Coach Mike Woodson said he expects Shumpert to return to practice Saturday. Shumpert hurt his shoulder during practice Thursday.

"It’s a little sore," Woodson said. "That’s why we’re being very cautious. We gave him today to kind of rehab with it."

Shumpert downplayed the significance of the injury Thursday, calling it "minor." As of Thursday, he had not undergone an MRI or any X-rays, and gave no indication that there were any plans to do so.

The Knicks scrimmaged Friday for the first time in training camp, but Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin were held out. According to the team, both veterans sat out to keep themselves fresh.

It's worth noting, though, that Martin hasn't participated in some drills in camp.

Woodson said both Chandler and Martin would be available to play if the Knicks had a game scheduled for Saturday. "They did everything, all of our running stuff at the top. This is two days in a row for Kenyon, that’s pretty good," Woodson said.

GOAL IS TO DEFEND DIVISION TITLE: Woodson recognizes that some teams in the Eastern Conference have improved. But he said the Knicks' goal remains the same: win the Atlantic Division and get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Knicks should get stiff challenges from the Brooklyn Nets (who added Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett), the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls (with a healthy Derrick Rose) and the Indiana Pacers this season.

"I think that's a major challenge for our ballclub," Woodson said. "(But) I'm not selling it any less than that. I'm not going to do that."

WILL KNICKS KEEP A BIG MAN? Woodson also said the Knicks could keep one of the big men they invited to camp on non-guaranteed deals. That means center Cole Aldrich, forward Josh Powell and forward Ike Diogu will get serious looks. As far as the guards in camp, Woodson said, "perimeter-wise, we're pretty set." ... Guards Chris Smith and Toure' Murry looked good during the portion of the scrimmage the media was allowed to watch. Raymond Felton was quick and active, and Beno Udrih knocked down two mid-range shots. C.J. Leslie hit a long-range jumper on one end of the floor and blocked a shot on the other end in one sequence. Woodson said the offense is ahead of the defense at this point in camp.

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