Smith finds fuel via Twitter

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For the record, Chris Smith sees the tweets from NBA fans talking about how he doesn't deserve to be with the New York Knicks and the only reason he has a roster spot is because his older brother, J.R., is on the team.

He sees them -- and then he uses them as motivation.

"I read it, but at the same time nobody's getting up with me at 7 a.m. to get here [to the Knicks practice facility] before anybody," Smith said.

"I'll read it and I laugh at it. But then I laugh and I go downstairs to my gym at home. It's a lot of motivation for me because all my life nothing has been easy for me because I've always been J.R.'s brother."

Undrafted out of Louisville in 2012, Smith played on the Knicks' summer league team during the summer but underwent patella tendon surgery in October. He also played for the Knicks' summer league team this past summer and received another invite to Knicks camp.

Smith is among several players, including Toure' Murry, Josh Powell and Ike Diogu, battling for a roster spot with the Knicks in training camp.

Both Smith and Murry, a guard who played well in summer league, have looked strong during the portion of team scrimmages open to the media.

Smith, who worked extensively with team trainer Chris Brickley in the offseason, is "very confident" that he'll end up on the Knicks' roster.

And he says he's not going to let any criticism from Twitter users affect his pursuit of an NBA job.

"Everyone's a critic nowadays," Smith said. "Everybody tries to critique your game and everybody wants to be the person who tries to put you down, but where are the people who try to build you up?"

Up now: No one is quite sure when Amar'e Stoudemire will start playing basketball again, but we do know that he hasn't started running on the court yet. Mike Woodson plans to be conservative with his usage of Kenyon Martin and hopes that J.R. Smith can improve his shot selection.

Also, Metta World Peace says Carmelo Anthony has a "killer instinct."

What's next: The Knicks will practice on Sunday morning as they continue to prepare for their preseason opener on Wednesday.

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