The Knicks are preparing to face the 76ers on the road tonight, and we heard earlier today that J.R. Smith is once again unlikely to see any action. Much has been said about the still-developing Smith saga, but all the attention hasn’t seemed to negatively affect the team’s play. They’ve won four out of their last five games, including key victories against the Spurs and Heat. Here’s the latest on Smith and the Knicks:
- Smith spoke to reporters, including Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link) about his reaction to the Knicks souring on him as of late. “What have you done for me lately, pretty much. You miss shots, it’s going to happen,” the guard said. Smith has been in the doghouse thanks to his public reaction to his younger brother getting cut. His proclivity for untying his opponent’s shoes probably doesn’t help things either.
- Rather than taking responsibility for his actions, Begley hears that Smith is frustrated at how much his name’s been in the media lately and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is over. Smith says he’s simply misunderstood. “I guess some people don’t have a sense of humor that others have… I’ve been misunderstood my whole life. it’s not going to change now.” Coach Mike Woodson has gone on the record as saying Smith needs to grow up.
- Meanwhile, Keith Schlosser from Knicks Journal suggests Tim Hardaway Jr. might be ready to take over Smith’s role as sixth man. Schlosser argues that despite Hardaway’s lack of experience and sometimes poor shot selection, the rookie guard has the skills necessary to warrant more minutes.
Zach Links contributed to this post.