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J.R. Smith hopes to be ready for Knicks’ season opener

Aug 9, 2013, 1:37 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Smith celebrates scoring past Washington Wizards during their NBA basketball game in Manhattan Reuters

There are obvious goals ahead: First the start of training camp, then at the end of October the start of the regular season.

For players such as J.R. Smith who had offseason surgery — to his left patella tendon, and to fix a tear in the lateral meniscus of the same knee — the goal is to be ready by those dates.

But the Knicks the reining Sixth Man of the Year healthy in April, May (and they hope June), not Oct. 30 to take on Milwaukee (the Knicks season opener). So they don’t want to rush him.

Still, Smith wants to be back when the season tips off and hopes he can make it, he told ESPNNewYork.com.

“It’s still too early to tell from what I hear — from the doc and all that,” said Smith, whose current rehab consists of pool workouts and riding the exercise bike. “I hope so. I want to be there opening night. I want to start the training camp off with my team and with my teammates.”

That timetable is on pace with what the doctor said after the surgery.

Remember Smith signed a new three-year, $17 million deal with the Knicks this summer (the surgery was announced days later).

Smith will play through pain — he did it last season, which is why the major knee surgery was needed. Smith started feeling knee pain last training camp but kept playing all season.

“I hate sitting out and I hate to be the guy in the gym watching everybody else play. So I wanted to play through it no matter what,” he said. “The doctors told me to sit out and wait, sit two, three games during the season last year, and I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to play as many games as I could. I ended up playing 80 out of 82, which isn’t so bad.”

The Knicks are going to need a repeat season out of Smith (maybe even more consistent) if they are going to live up to their goals of being a contender in an East that got better around them.

  1. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    take your time dude, that way we get a good look at Tim jr.

  2. bux1022 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    We will contend as we did last year. I think our additions in the offseason will prove that! No one knows how Granger and Rose’s gimpy knees will hold up. Rose obviously has a better chance to regain his MVP form but Granger will be the new G. Hill!!

    • onlyavoice - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Contending For The 1st Round Exit.

  3. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    yeah if AD can get it back, if Metta can stay out of bs, if STAT can stay healthy,if JR is a notch better than last year. i know a lot of ifs right, but thats the magic of B-ball when a plan comes together

  4. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    sorry meant AB

  5. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    JR Smith really does need to be better than his sixth man campaign. he reminded me so much of John Starks in his strong seasons here i hope he can find a way to be just a notch better than last year

  6. bux1022 - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Jr needs to drive to set up higher % shots. AB will have a good season. No pressure, if that could actually be said in a NY market, regardless no longer the first option. I really think Tyler will play quality minutes which will keep Chandler fresh.. Beno for a mill is a hell of a deal. I’m from NY and live in AZ. I’ve watched Stats whole career. It’s time we have Melo and Stat play quality minutes in the same game. Big Apple Biz!

  7. chemus08 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    JR is more interested in being ready for launch of party season, too many clubs relying on that big pay day he just got

  8. dysraw1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    bux1022 you and i are very optimistic about our up coming season, with good reason i might add. this team can surprize the league again

  9. onlyavoice - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    The Melo Led Knicks Will Come Out Flying.
    They’ll Claim Their Regular Season Championships Again.
    Then The Melo Led Knicks Will Show Why They Are Not A Title Contender
    Come Post Season.
    I Can’t Wait To See What Fake Injuries Melo Has This Post Season
    & Then Watching That Arrogant Smirk Getting Wiped Off Of Chandlers Face
    As They Lose.

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