The Maturation of JR Smith

Posted: March 31, 2013 by OnDNxtLvl in Knicks

JR Smith

JR Smith, the enigmatic 6th man for the New York Knicks, can bring you to your feet in joy and have you collapse to your knees in disbelief – all within 20 seconds of the same Knicks possession.  His penchant for both clutch shooting and puzzling shot selection have drawn comparisons to another free-gunning Knicks player of yesteryear, John Starks.  While JR’s FG and 3-point shooting percentages have fallen since joining the Knicks he has provided much-needed scoring punch off the bench.  As of late we’ve seen a different JR.  A team oriented scorer, especially important with Amar’e out six weeks after knee surgery and Tyson Chandler nursing a bulging disk.

JR is currently on a spectacular run, averaging over 27pts while shooting over 55% in his last 6 games.  He has turned a corner of sorts, realizing that not every shot is a good shot.  He’s taking advantage of his athleticism to get into the paint, scoring on layups and getting to the line.  This smarter, more efficient JR is exactly what the doctor ordered.  The Knicks are on the path to a long playoff run and Carmelo needs his #2 scoring option to play team basketball.  Or the exact opposite of JR’s antics in their elimination game (Round 1 – game 5) of the 2012 playoffs – when he shot 3-15 from the field and had a plus/minus of -20pts vs. the Miami Heat.  In that game JR was 6 of 6 from the ft line.  Even then we had a snapshot of where his opportunities were.  He chose not to exploit them…but today is a new day.  JR has been attacking the basket and getting to the line with regularity and opposing defenses don’t have an answer for it.

If Stoudemire can return to the lineup in time for the playoffs and resist the urge to beat up fire extinguishers the Knicks could be deep enough to make some noise come playoff season.  Only time will tell if they can stave off injury and continue playing efficient and effectively.  They’ll need the new and improved JR to play a vital part in their run.  Will he cooperate or does he still have a little too much John Starks in him?

-Pierce

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Comments
  1. Marco says:

    Jr is plaxico burress in a basketball uniform. I just hope the Knicks win something before he shoots our season in the leg.

  2. Marco says:

    When your catch phrase for the season is : are u trying to get the pipe? The Knicks are in trouble

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