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Sunday, November 10, 2013
J.R.: Knicks 'have to stay together'

By Ian Begley

J.R. Smith went 1-for-9 from the field and had four turnovers in his season debut on Sunday.

As if that wasn't scary enough for Knicks fans, what he said afterward probably won't inspire much confidence.

Smith
J.R. Smith shot 1-for-9 from the field on Sunday against the Spurs.
"I didn't feel rusty at all," Smith said.

In addition to having a rough game from the field, Smith had a tough time defending the Spurs' perimeter shooters.

The Knicks were outscored by 18 in his 21 minutes on the floor.

"I just missed a lot of shots, didn't get to the basket like I wanted to and overall didn't have a good game," said Smith, who missed the first five games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

Many on the Knicks hoped that Smith's return would boost a Knicks offense that ranked 17th in efficiency during his suspension.

That didn't happen in his first game back as the Knicks put up just 89 points. Smith's poor shooting is somewhat understandable, though, as he hasn't played in nearly six months.

"You kind of expected that a little bit," Mike Woodson said. "He struggled a little bit, but our struggles came before he got in the game."

The Knicks were down 10-0 with Smith on the bench in a performance Woodson called "unacceptable."

He also said the Knicks (2-4) lacked pride on Sunday.

Smith hopes the Knicks can turn things around by the time they take the floor on Wednesday against the Hawks.

"We've just got to stay together. We can't get down on one another, we can't point fingers," he said. "It's too early in the season for that."

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