Wednesday, November 21, 2012
J.R. says Felton better than Lin
By Ian Begley
J.R. Smith played in a Knicks offense run by Jeremy Lin last season.
This year, he's playing in an offense run by Raymond Felton.
So, which point guard is better? To Smith, that's an easy one to answer.
Listen to the complete interview:
The Knicks guard said in an interview Tuesday on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that Felton is much more adept at running the pick and roll -- a staple of New York's offense.
"He’s so much (more) dynamic in the pick and roll than Jeremy was last year," Smith said. "Just finding the lob and finding the guys in the corner for a 3 ... not always just looking for his shot."
The Knicks are off to an 8-1 starting entering Wednesday's game against Dallas, and Felton has been a big reason behind the team's success. He had 15 points, six assists and one turnover in 30 minutes in the Knicks' win over the Hornets on Tuesday. Felton and Jason Kidd have provided stability at the point for the Knicks, who have the lower per-game turnover mark in the league.
Turnovers are an area in which Lin struggled last season, even while leading the Knicks to a 10-3 mark during his remarkable "Linsanity" run last February.
Smith said Felton, who was brought in to replace Lin, is "so much different" from his predecessor at the point.
"Ray is out there, he’s attacking, attacking, attacking," Smith said. "He’s attacking to look like he’s scoring and he’s finding other people open as well as attacking to actually score."
Smith also touched on other Knicks-related topics with Kay and Don LaGreca:
ON HIS ABILITY TO PLAY WITHOUT AN EGO THIS SEASON: "Honestly it wasn’t that hard for me.
"In previous years, it’s been unbelievably hard .... (In the past), coaches would ask me to check my ego at the door and I've always played with a chip on my shoulder like nobody on this court right now is better than me.
"This year, it’s more about the team," Smith added. "It’s not about me. It’s not about my stats. It’s about the team stats. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is us getting that 'W'. I think that’s really helped."
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MIKE WOODSON AND MIKE D'ANTONI: "All (Woodson) talks about is defense, defense, defense, [and] wanting to keep teams under 25 points per quarter. Our goal as players is under 20 per quarter."
"When coach D’Antoni was here, our thing was we should score over 120 points per game. And I think that right there is the total difference," Smith added.
"(Woodson) was there with Larry Brown. They won a championships solely on their defense (with the Pistons in 2004)," he said. "I think it’s a totally different situation."
ON JASON KIDD'S IMPACT: "Jason Kidd has been unbelievable. I've always been a fan of his, just his play how he keeps his composure. But I never really knew how much he actually knew about the game or how much he actually could teach someone one ... He taught me so much about ... finding the open man, bringing the right attitude to the court every night. He’s an ultimate pro and definitely a Hall of Famer."