Notebook: Big week for J.R. Smith

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks expect J.R. Smith to be cleared for contact on Tuesday, a significant step in the guard's attempt to return from knee surgery.

Once Smith is cleared for contact, he can begin scrimmaging with the team.

The Knicks hope that Smith can play in the Knicks' preseason finale against the Bobcats on Friday.

Smith underwent surgery in July to repair his left patella tendon and a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee.

Once he is deemed healthy enough to return to the floor by team doctors and an independent doctor appointed by the NBA, Smith will serve a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug ban.

If Smith plays in the Knicks' final preseason game, he can start serving his suspension when New York opens the regular season.

"Hopefully the contact [on Tuesday] goes as expected," Smith said.

Smith has been shooting and running on the court in recent days. He said it's hard not to think of his left knee when he's on the floor.

"I try to make a move I normally make on the court and I can’t make it as of yet, it kinda gets frustrating," he said.

Smith, the NBA's reigning Sixth Man Award winner, will battle Iman Shumpert for the Knicks starting shooting guard spot. In other injury news, Raymond Felton (hamstring) and Iman Shumpert (elbow) did not scrimmage on Sunday. Their status for Monday's game in Toronto is uncertain, though Woodson said he expects to hold Felton out.

METTA WORLD PEACE, THE PHILOSOPHER: Metta World Peace was asked on Sunday if he's trying to do more to impress his new teammates and coaches.

World Peace offered a very philosophical response:

"You really can’t be more than what you are, and you really can’t be less than what you are. Just be you," he said. "Work hard, try to stay in shape. A lot of people been calling me old. I can’t help that I’m 33 because when god brings us in this world, he says you will age, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is I continue to work hard on my body and stay in shape and I’m moving pretty well."

WOODY LIKES BARGS AT C, MELO AT PF: Woodson said he'd like to take a longer look at lineups that feature Carmelo Anthony at power forward and Andrea Bargnani at center. Those lineups have potential on offense but could be compromised when it comes to defending the rim.

"That's looked pretty good as well but we've got to do it in longer stretches," Woodson said. "That's what's important. As we close in on these last two [preseason] games we'll probably see more of them at the big spots playing more minutes just to see what it looks like through the course of the whole game."

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