The New York Knicks have been playing awfully this season and they continue to struggle. With a 15-25 record they rank way lower than where they wanted to be. J.R. Smith has also been playing awfully and his antics have drawn the attention from almost the entire NBA world.
Nonetheless, somewhere between untying shoelaces of opposing players and horrible shot selections, J.R. Smith does some good to the New York Knicks team. He has been a pleasant distraction for his teammates. Carmelo Anthony just recently admitted so.
Melo stated that J.R. Smith is definitely a hot topic in the Knicks’ locker room. The team is discussing about his antics and his significant drop of production, at least in comparison to the previous season, when he won the Sixth Man of the Year award. But except for the negative effect Smith’s performance and behavior had to the team, it was also a reason for the Knicks to remove their focus from the awful way they have been playing this season. Melo said that it’s better for the team to discuss what J.R. Smith is doing or has done rather than getting into a discussion around the Knicks’ struggles.
Amar’e Stoudemire also stated that Smith is a positive distraction for New York this season. In a season where the team is struggling, the Knicks need to find some motivation to get out there and play. Of course, the fans of the team would hope that something more than just Smith’s antics would motivate them, but that’s certainly a start.
Mike Woodson was the next one to comment about J.R. Smith. The Head Coach of the team said that despite the latest trade rumors around Smith, the team wants him to stay. But in order for this to happen, the 28-year old guard will have to get serious and focus on playing the game. He will need to try and find his old self and help New York gain the lost ground. It’s obvious that without him playing well, it would be difficult for the Knicks to reach a high level of competiveness.
At least, when the NBA world is talking about J.R. Smith’s struggles and antics, the discussion doesn’t go deeply into the serious problems the Knicks have. Thanks to the erratic behavior by Smith, no one is really discussing the possibility of the Knicks firing Mike Woodson. Little discussion is there about the fact that the Knicks have the fifth worst offense in the league. And a few discussions wander around the fact that Carmelo Anthony might be walking out of NYC this summer. This might be positive on the one hand, but it could also be worrisome, as the Knicks might soon find themselves in a much worse situation than they are currently in.
The New York Knicks certainly need J.R. Smith. They should be expected to show some patience and see if he bounces back. If not, it should be no surprise if they decide to trade him away.