Shumpert starting at SG ... for now

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson is committed to starting Iman Shumpert at shooting guard for the first five games of the season.

After that, the job is up for grabs.

"The bottom line is Iman is going to be in the lineup the first five games. If things go accordingly to plan, then we'll figure it out from there," Woodson said.

Woodson will decide between Shumpert and J.R. Smith for the starting shooting guard spot once Smith returns to the court.

Smith is expected to make his season debut Nov. 10 against San Antonio after he serves a five-game ban for violating the anti-drug policy.

Smith missed the first six preseason games while rehabbing from offseason knee surgery. He made his debut last Friday against Charlotte.

Shumpert was limited in practice on Monday due to general soreness, Woodson said. The Knicks did not practice on Sunday.

Also, Tim Hardaway Jr. was sent home with an upper respiratory issue. Kenyon Martin was out of practice with an excused absence. Martin was at the University of Cincinnati on Monday to commemorate his election to the school's Hall of Fame.

STAT FINE WITH ALTERNATING, READY FOR OPENER: Amar'e Stoudemire said he felt "good" after scrimmaging on Monday and declared himself ready to play Wednesday against the Bucks.

Stoudemire will have to make it through Tuesday's practice before he gets cleared to play. But he's expected to be in the lineup.

If Stoudemire plays on Wednesday, that means Kenyon Martin will play Thursday against the Bulls.

Woodson wants to alternate Stoudemire and Martin on back-to-back games. He may opt to alternate Martin and Stoudemire on a game-to-game basis as well.

Stoudemire fully supports that approach.

"It's fine with me. With Kenyon and I, we both are ... trying to recover from injuries," Stoudemire said. "Whatever it takes for us to prolong our career and be ready for the postseason, I think that is the right approach."

DREAMIN': The Knicks welcomed 100 children to the team's training facility Monday on behalf of the Garden of Dreams foundation.

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