Knicks starting shooting guard a question mark

J.R. SmithThe New York Knicks have a lot of talent.  It's still unclear if that talent is going to mix together.  We know Tyson Chandler is starting at center, Amar'e Stoudemire is starting at power forward, Carmelo Anthony at the small forward and Raymond Felton is starting at point guard.  The big question for the Knicks right now is who will start at shooting guard, especially while Iman Shumpert recovers from a torn ACL.  Barbara Barker of Newsday reports that J.R. Smith wants the job, but head coach Mike Woodson isn't so sure yet.

"I kind of like where J.R. is coming off the bench," Woodson said. "He could start, you never know. But everybody can't start. I have a nice mixture of guys at this starting unit and I have to have some offense coming off the bench, as well."

This is a similar situation to when Anthony and Smith were in Denver together.  At that time, whether it was Allen Iverson or Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets had a scoring point guard, they had Anthony and they had a scoring big in Nene.  Now Felton, Anthony again and Amar'e are going to be taking up 75 percent of the shots from the starting unit.  Smith is much better being paired with a second unit that includes Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby, two of the best passers at their positions, to get him the ball.  It would also provide the Knicks some energy and scoring off the bench, just like in Denver.

Once Iman Shumpert comes back, assuming he comes back this season, he's without question the Knicks starting shooting guard.  But recovery time for a torn ACL is anywhere from eight to 12 months and then it usually takes another few months before a player is completely 100 percent.  Barker's report says Mychel Thompson's been running with the first team recently and don't be surprised if Ronnie Brewer gets time with that unit as well.

Photo: AOL Sporting News