Playing with consistency has always been an issue for Smith. And some believe that his off-court activities impact his play on it. There were reports that Smith's social life affected his play as recently as the playoffs last spring. But unless you're in Smith's head or his body, that's impossible to say with any certainty.
We do know this, however: Smith will have to miss five games at the beginning of the season for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.
To be clear, I don't think what Smith does on his own time is anyone's business. If I was rooting for the Knicks, I wouldn't care if Smith were at a club or studying in the library the night before a game as long as he performed on the court.
Smith's off-court activities become an issue only when they affect his ability to produce for the Knicks. And that's what happened in September, when Smith was hit with a five-game suspension.
To those who say, "It's only five games. Who cares?"
1. Every game will matter at the end of the season when teams are battling for playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference.
2. Smith isn't just missing five games. He's also missing an opportunity to get acclimated to the NBA game. After four months off the court, it's going to take Smith several games -- maybe even weeks -- to find the combination of explosiveness and soft touch that he played with last season.
Anthony, for one, is anxiously awaiting Smith's return to the floor -- and to see if the time away impacts his approach to the game.
"He had a long offseason, thinking about what's been going on, trying to get back. Hopefully he turns over that new leaf," Anthony said.