NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The sixth man is crucial for any NBA contender. Just look at James Harden in Oklahoma City or the classic example, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.

But Knicks guard J.R. Smith isn’t exactly happy with the apparent decision from coach Mike Woodson to keep him as the first guy off the bench.

“Disappointed is an understatement,” Smith said Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.

With Iman Shumpert and Ronnie Brewer recovering from injuries, the Knicks are without a clear-cut starter at shooting guard — a position Smith thought he could fill.

Woodson said Tuesday he could see Smith as a contender for the league’s Sixth Man Award.

“My whole process of getting better this summer and everything I went through was to be in that starting role,” said Smith. “It was great to be able to have put all that work in and understand what I can do and my body can withhold without starting. I think it just makes our bench even stronger.”

Where do you think Smith has the most value? Be heard in the comments below!

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