After he was fined for untying opponents’ shoelaces, J.R. Smith was benched by Mike Woodson. It seemed as if Woodson and the Knicks had grown tired of Smith’s immature acts, and the shoelace incident was the last straw. The Knicks won the game against the Heat, and it started to raise questions about his role moving forward.
Well, Smith played the next two games and all seemed well. As the Knicks came into Charlotte on Tuesday night, they were riding a five-game win streak, and they were trying to continue their good play. They ended up losing the game, and their offense looked flat. J.R. Smith didn’t provide the spark they expect him too. And that would be because he didn’t play.
Smith got his second DNP-CD in four games, and after the game he wasn’t happy about it, via the NY Daily News:
“I stopped being surprised after the Miami game,” Smith said, adding Woodson gave him “no reason” for his latest benching and didn’t tell him he wouldn’t play before the game began. “I haven’t the slightest clue (what’s going on). . . . If I’m not helping the team, there’s no point in me being here….
Asked about the recent shoelace incidents, Smith said “for that to be the trigger point for all of this to happen is ridiculous.”
He is confused, but I might have the reason why. Smith is shooting a career-low 35 percent from the field, and an abysmal 34 percent from beyond the arc. His shot selection has been poor at best, and he can often stall the ball movement that the Knicks need to be successful. During their five-game win streak, the Knicks were moving the ball better, and finally looked like the team that won 54 games last season.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is also having a nice rookie season, and they are probably trying to develop him with more minutes. The Knicks signed Smith to a three-year deal worth 18 million dollars, and it looks like they are regretting every penny.