Something is going on with Knicks guard J.R. Smith and if he doesn’t fix it, he might be glued to the bench. Smith has been in a terrible slump since elbowing Jason Terry during the Celtics series.
New York head coach Mike Woodson was on ESPN Radio, and let it be known Smith could lose his time if he doesn’t start shooting the ball well.
“I’ll gauge J.R. as we go along and if I feel he’s not giving me anything, I could always turn to other guys on that bench,” Woodson said Wednesday in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show.”
“I feel good about the guys that come in off that bench just like I feel good about J.R. But if he’s struggling and I feel the need (that) I’ve got to pull him, then I will do that as the head coach and then other guys have got to come in and step up and play.”
That loss of playing time may not come tonight, but if the Knicks go down 2-1 to the Pacers, you might see a change for game four.
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“He’s missing shots and he’s not playing well from an offensive standpoint,” Woodson said of Smith, who is averaging 31.9 minutes per game in the playoffs. “I think he’s giving us a lot defensively. And that’s why he’s staying out there on the floor because he’s holding his own defensively and he’s rebounding some for us at his position.
“But he is and has struggled offensively. And it’s my job as the coach and my staff and his teammates, we’ve got to get him out of this funk and get him back to playing like we know he’s capable he’s playing.”