J.R. Smith Speaks on getting the 6th Man of the Year AwardAdd a comment
It has been a few months since Shumpert’s return to the Knicks from his ACL injury and it looks like he has finally found his shooting touch. Shumpert has expanded his shooting range from the 3-10 feet to 11-23 feet. He no longer has problems shooting from deep. In fact, in Shumpert’s recent postgame interview he said he feels, “Disrespected” when opposing teams leave him wide open.
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Cold blooded! Those are the words that come to mind when I think of J.R. Smith’s recent play in the Knicks 7 game winning streak. This is amazing considering earlier this season J.R. was the kind of player that made you want to throw your remote into your flatscreen. The knock on J.R. Smith has been him shooting too many 3’s and driving less to the hole. That is not the case now. If fact in recent games J.R. has looked like man possessed and determined to get to the basket by any means necessary.
Smith has played so good he has people asking “Jamal who?” when Jamal Crawford is mentioned for the 6th man award. In the last few weeks Coach Mike Woodson has been on J.R. Smith’s case about shooting less 3 point shots and taking more layups. J.R. Smith finally got the message and is doing exactly what his coach wants from him.
When you think about the NBA, most people think that players reach a point where they are too set in their ways to learn new tricks. Well right now J.R. Smith is pulling out his new bag of tricks and is scoring on the competition. This is J.R. Smith’s 8th season in the NBA, and “by Woodson” I think he’s finally got it.
Since training camp Mike Woodson said that J.R. Smith would be the Knicks sleeper. From day one Woodson believed J.R. Smith could be sixth man of the year and that is exactly what J.R. Smith is headed for if he continues playing the way he has been playing.
Currently, J.R. Smith is averaging 17.7 points a game, 5.10 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Not only is Smith having the best year of his career but he is breaking records off the bench. So far in the last 3 games he has scored 37 points, 35 points, and 32 points a game. In the Knicks 7 game winning streak, J.R. has been shooting 53% from the field, and getting to the line about 8 times per game. People have not seen a bench player score consistently like this since Chris Gatling (and that was almost two decades ago).
Right now J. R. is mixing it up and scoring at will. His attitude is like “Who’s going to stop me now?” (in the voice of Kanye West). He is getting to the foul line on the regular. Plus he is getting it done by driving right and left, and crossing-over the competition. Not to mention, Smith is hitting the step-back-jumpshot off-the- dribble and catching his man off guard with his spin moves.
While Jamal Crawford’s scoring (16.6 points) is going down, J. R. Smith’s game is on the rise. Last year it was Linsanity taking the Garden by storm. This year it is the “J.R. Smith Show”. Enjoy the ride.Add a comment
With 11 games remaining in the season one has to wonder, “What’s up with Tyson Chandler?” Currently the Knicks All-Star center has missed 8 games with a neck injury. Some people want Chandler to return before the playoffs. Then there are others, like me, who feel Chandler should not return if he’s not 100%.
It’s just not a good idea for a valuable player like Chandler to rush back like he’s “Captain Save A Team”.
So far the Knicks are 6-2 without Chandler. We know that winning the division has been a top priority for Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson but it should not be at the expense of having Chandler at full strength.
The Knicks will miss Tyson’s rebounding and defense that he brings to the table every night. However, with Kenyon Martin playing so well in Chandler’s absence it makes sense to let Chandler rest.
We have seen the Celtics rest Garnett and it might be in the Knicks best interest to shut Tyson Chandler down until the playoffs.
A healthy Knicks team will be key for the Knicks advancing into the playoffs.
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