Many aspects of the Knicks' awful start have been discussed and dissected already. Ball movement, poor defense and injuries have all been offered as reasons the Knicks (3-11) are struggling.
But one often overlooked factor has been the play of J.R. Smith.
New York Knicks
New York isn't getting much from the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. He may be working off the rust from offseason knee surgery. He may still be out of rhythm following a five-game suspension to open the season. Or, in the worst-case scenario for the Knicks, Smith may still be feeling pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired knee.
Whatever the reason, it's clear Smith isn't himself right now.
On Wednesday against the Clips, Smith had seven points in 26 minutes. He missed six of his nine attempts, and the Knicks were outscored by 14 during his time on the floor. Against the Blazers on Monday, he was 2-for-8 in 25 minutes.
Smith is shooting just 32 percent from the floor this season. If he finished the season at this percentage, it would be a career low. He's also hitting just 30 percent from 3. The Knicks have been outscored by a combined 50 points with Smith on the floor.
But Smith hasn't proved that theory so far this season. The Knicks badly need him to find his shot before the season spirals to the point of no return.
You have to wonder if in-fighting is affecting the team.
What's next: The Knicks will be off Thursday. They finish their four-game road trip against Denver on Friday.
Question: What's going on with J.R.?
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