When Knicks coach Derek Fisher decided to start Jason Smith for the second half of Thursday’s 95-90 upset win over the Cavaliers and hold center Samuel Dalembert out for the final three quarters, there was more at work than just matchups.

Dalembert, the Knicks’ starting center, was battling a sore left calf that was wrapped up.

After Fisher’s dealings with Jose Calderon, who is out two-to-three weeks with a lingering calf issue, the coach played it safe, though the former Seton Hall shot-blocker was available to play.