Wednesday, October 2, 2013
J.R.: I upset the NBA gods during playoffs
By Ian Begley
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Why did J.R. Smith struggle so mightily in the postseason last spring?
Smith himself has an answer for you.
"I call it 'pissing the NBA gods off,' " Smith said. "You're making, making, making a lot of shots -- and you mess with the basketball game and the game gets you back. And it definitely got me back."
Smith struggled mightily in the playoffs last season, making just 33 percent of his field-goal attempts.
A turning point in Smith's postseason seemed to be his one-game suspension for elbowing Jason Terry in Game 3 of the Knicks-Celtics series. He shot 43.5 percent from the field before his Game 4 suspension and 29 percent after the ban.
Smith is still rehabbing from offseason surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss training camp and the preseason.
On Wednesday, he was boxing with Knicks trainer Dave Hancock, but he has not started running yet. Smith, 28, remains optimistic that he can be back on the court for the season opener.
Once Smith is deemed healthy enough to play by both team doctors and an NBA doctor, he will serve a five-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.
"Eventually he'll be back in a setting where he can scrimmage a little bit, do some drills," coach Mike Woodson said. "He's doing a few things, but not enough to where we can stick him on the floor yet. It's still day to day with him."
K-MART NOT ON COURT: Woodson said forward Kenyon Martin was not on the court for at least part of Wednesday's workout. Instead, Martin spent some of the day on the stationary bike. But Woodson said Martin is healthy. It's possible the Knicks are holding Martin back because he is 36 and there's no need to push him during training camp. But this is worth noting: A league source told ESPNNewYork.com that Martin sat out of informal scrimmages with his teammates last week at the training facility. So he may be nursing a nagging injury.
KNICKS ADD DOUGLAS-ROBERTS: The Knicks signed free agent Chris Douglas-Roberts to a non-guaranteed training camp deal Wednesday. To make room for Douglas-Roberts, New York cut former St. John's standout Justin Brownlee.
Woodson said Brownlee can possibly hook up with the Knicks' D-League team, the Erie BayHawks.
Douglas-Roberts, 6 feet 7 and 210 pounds, holds career averages of 7.5 points, on 44.2-percent shooting, over 20.3 minutes in 161 games (52 starts) over four seasons with New Jersey, Milwaukee and Dallas.
"He's a kid that can score the basketball," Woodson said.
The Knicks have 20 players under contract. They will need to cut the roster to 15 by opening night.