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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Sometimes in life another man’s trash can be another man’s treasure or in this case another team’s treasure. Right now that is the case with the Knicks new power forward Kenyon Martin. At the end of last season Kenyon Martin found himself at odds with head coach of the Clippers Vinny Del Negro. Despite Martin’s hard work, athleticism, and talent it wasn’t enough for Martin to get re-signed by the Clippers or get a new contract at the beginning of this season. Instead of a fat new payday, like Martin was expecting, he found himself nearly blackballed from the league and labeled “un-coachable”.
A month ago the Knicks decided to take a chance on Kenyon Martin. Now he is proving teams and GM’s wrong with each passing day. Martin is filling in the void at the center and power forward positions with Chandler, Wallace, and Amar’e sidelined with injures. Martin is a big part of the Knicks winning streak.
Kenyon Martin has been an anchor on the defensive end of the court. He has been getting block shots, key rebounds, playing solid man-to-man to man defense, and playing great help defense. More importantly Martin’s effort and energy is rubbing off on his teammates. On offense he’s going after every missed shot as well as playing the pick and roll game to almost perfection.
Overall, Kenyon Martin is more than what the Knicks and critics were expecting . Martin has gone from just a pick up player to a key asset who can help the Knicks move to the 2nd round in the playoffs. If Kenyon Martin did not get the attention of the league before you better believe he’s getting that attention now.
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(Big C) When you think about impact players in the league sometimes you have to look beyond the starting lineup. While the Knicks turn things around in the basketball world Knicks’ shooting guard J.R. Smith is becoming a force to reckon with. Coming into the season, all eyes were on Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire, Felton and Chandler to make things happen. Now critics are seeing that J.R. Smith is an important piece to the Knicks roster. Last season fans got a short glimpse of the potential of J.R. Smith and what he could do on the court.
During the offseason Knicks coach Mike Woodson took the time to get Smith to raise his game to the next level on both ends of the court. Before the season started Mike Woodson said J.R. was a sleeper and he expected big things from the Knicks shooting guard. Smith now seems to be focused on winning and doing whatever it takes to win games, rebounding, or providing that extra scoring punch off the bench, he’s doing it.
When people think of teams they tend to only think about the starting lineup and not the impact of the bench players. Outside of Jamal Crawford (16.5 points a game) there aren’t many players in the NBA that are making an impact off the bench like J. R. Smith (17.4 points a game).
Before this season J.R. Smith was labeled a player that only cared about getting his, you know the “Chucker” a.k.a. the “I Got to Get Mine" guy. This season it is clear has made some improvements. that J.R. plays not just to score but to block shots, get steals, and even scoring clutch shots.
In recent games J.R. Smith got the Knicks back into the game when the Knicks are trailing behind or just when they need to get into a flow offensively. He is the glue guy when Carmelo Anthony is out or is having an off game that provides scoring.
With Smith getting back his shooting touch he is becoming a tough player to guard. He has the ability to shoot deep from the outside, hit the step-back-jumper, or crossover his man to get to the hole. The problem is we need to see more drives and less shooting from 3.
On any given night J.R. Smith can look like one of the league's best, not just off the bench but on the court. Smith is averaging 5 rebounds to go along with his 17.4 points 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals a game.
With Felton in a slump and Amar’e being out J.R. Smith is quickly becoming a serious candidate for the 6th man of the year. J.R. Smith already plays a high energy game but he just needs to take it up a notch in some areas...
Driving more to the hole
When J.R. drives to the hole this opens up this midrange shot and makes him a tough cover for any player to guard. Plus it puts Knick opponents in foul trouble.
Better shot selection
Smith needs to stop forcing shots and take more midrange shots when he is guarded one-on-one.
Taking fewer 3 point shots, adding more midrange shots
J.R. needs to look more for his teammates and pass the ball. The more Smith looks for his teammates the more they will work harder on offense. Players are not going to put 100% on offense if they know they will not get the ball.
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The Knicks no longer have to look at just Carmelo Anthony to bail them out every time, if J.R. Smith stays focused on driving and using the midrange shot the Knicks will have a good second option. It feels good to have options.