Odds & Ends: J.R. Smith, Lakers, Nash

J.R. Smith is far from being a perfect player, but if there's anything to be said about what the Knicks guard lacks, confidence is not one of them. During a video interview with Tashara Jones of the New York Post at a fashion event this weekend, the 27-year-old Smith said "championship" when talking about the team's expectations for this season (Marc Raimondi of the New York Post reports). After being asked if it was a guarantee, Smith appeared confident in New York's chances against anyone: "In my eyes, yeah…Lakers, Heat, – whoever," also adding, "if we settle for anything less, we already start off losing." Here's what else we're hearing from the NBA tonight…
  • HoopsHype provided their NBA season preview of the Lakers, projecting them to finish with first place in the Pacific division and second in the Western Conference. 
  • It appears that Lakers guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake are looking to prepare for the season as soon as possible, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA.com tweets that both have an evening workout with player development coach Phil Handy tonight.
  • Derek Page of HoopsWorld lists his top 5 playmakers heading into 2012-13. Steve Nash tops the list, followed by Rajon Rondo and LeBron James

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