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Feb 7, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) dribbles by Denver Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye (4) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks won the game 117-90. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks swingman J.R. Smith will wear protective mask after fracturing cheekbone

The New York Knicks are struggling (again), having lost 4 out of their last 5 games, and despite some mild improvement from their #2 scoring option, there is more negative news surrounding JR Smith.

The thought of JR Smith in a protective mask makes me chuckle aloud (to be perfectly honest), but in all honesty, there have been signs that Smith is righting the ship, and anything that could alter that should worry Knicks fans. Smith is averaging nearly 17 points per game on a respectable 46% from the floor over New York’s last 10 games, and he has even been borderline responsible with his shot selection.

Smith’s formal diagnosis is a fractured cheekbone, and I suppose it could be worse for both the player and the team. With their PR department releasing that Smith will suit up on Wednesday against Sacramento, there is little reason for alarm in the Big Apple, but with the way the Knicks have been playing recently (and frankly, all season), things snowballing in any sort of negative direction is something that could send the team off the rails on a permanent basis.

Tags: JR Smith New York Knicks Sacramento Kings

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