J.Argh! Smith shoots Knicks out of game

March, 3, 2013
3/03/13
6:38
PM ET
Mike Woodson didn't like a lot of things about the New York Knicks' 99-93 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday.

He had a problem with his team's second-half turnovers, third-quarter intensity and poor execution down the stretch.

But J.R. Smith's shot selection may have bothered Woodson the most.

[+] EnlargeJ.R. Smith
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesJ.R. Smith missed 11 of his 14 attempts from 3-point range.
Smith essentially shot the Knicks in the foot on Sunday by going just 2-for-11 in the second half. On the afternoon, Smith missed 13 of 18 shots, including 11 of his 14 3-point attempts.

"You can’t take 18 shots and 14 shots are 3s. That’s a bit much," Woodson said. "He's got to mix it up."

To put Smith's afternoon in perspective, consider this: In his 54-point night at the Garden last Wednesday, Stephen Curry hit 11 of 13 from long range. That's right: Smith, who finished with 13 points, took one more 3-point attempt than a guy who scored 54.

Afterward, Woodson joined a long list of NBA coaches when he questioned Smith's shot selection.

"When you’re not making your shots from the 3 you got to get a little bit closer or try and get to the free throw line," Woodson said. "That’s what good scorers do. He’s learning how to be a scorer."

Smith also had a brutal turnover with 25 seconds to play.

The Knicks were down just four when he telegraphed a cross-court pass that was picked off by LeBron James. The Heat star went in for an uncontested dunk with 24 seconds left to seal the win for Miami.

"Turnovers killed us -- mine especially," said Smith, who added 12 rebounds.

With Amar'e Stoudemire in a diminished role off the Knicks' bench, Smith is essentially the second option on offense. When he scores efficiently, the Knicks are in good shape. But on Sunday, they needed points from someone other than Carmelo Anthony, and they couldn't count on Smith.

"I had about four wide-open shots and missed," Smith said. "My shot just wasnt falling."

Smith actually came into Sunday's game on a bit of a hot streak. In his four previous games, he hit 29 of 56 attempts (51.7 percent), including 15 of 41 3s (36.5 percent).

That streak ended with a thud in the third quarter as Smith clanked four of five 3s. In a related story, the Heat outscored New York 28-18 in the quarter to begin their comeback.

"I have to find another way to help our team," Smith said.

Things went from bad to worse for the Knicks' sixth man in the fourth. He went 1-for-6 while playing all 12 minutes in the final quarter. He missed four of five 3s, including a 26-footer with 1:45 to go and the Knicks down by two.

James rebounded Smith's miss and converted a layup over him on the other end to put Miami up four. A little over a minute later, Smith had the turnover that led to LeBron's game-sealing dunk.

"It's extremely disappointing," Smith said.

His coach felt the same way.

At some point after the loss on Sunday, Woodson planned to sit down with Smith to deliver a simple message: When you're not hitting 3s, stop shooting them.

"I know a lot of times those shots look appetizing and he makes a lot of them," Woodson said. "(But) he's got to mix it up."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2