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Sunday, November 17, 2013
J.R. Smith: 'I played terrible'

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- It wasn't very family friendly, but J.R. Smith found a succinct way to sum up his awful shooting night on Saturday.

"Excuse my language, but I was playing like s---," he said. "I played terrible. I've been playing terrible since I got back and I wasn't happy about it."

Smith had another awful night from the floor in the Knicks' 20-point loss to Atlanta.

The shooting guard went 3-for-18 from the floor and scored just seven points in 36 minutes.

Wait ... it gets worse.

He missed eight of his nine 3-point attempts. And New York was outscored by 13 when he was on the floor.

So what's the biggest issue plaguing Smith right now?

"Honestly, I don't even know," Smith said. "I've been getting my shots up before and after practice, been working out like I'm supposed to and I can't transition it into a game. That's the most frustrating part."

Smith is shooting just 25 percent from the floor since returning from a five-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He is 4-for-19 from beyond the arc at home.

After the game, Mike Woodson said he'd consider lineup changes, including sending Smith back to the bench.

"I'm going to continue to shuffle and do things that I think is right by our team to try to find the right combinations to win," Woodson said.

Whether that combination includes Smith in the starting lineup is now up for debate.

A common theme in the Knicks' locker room after the game was a lack of effort. Smith echoed those thoughts.

He was then asked when the Knicks (3-6) will start giving maximum effort.

"That's the million-dollar question right there," Smith said. "Hopefully, sooner than later. We needed to kick it in tonight, if possible. Our effort has to get better."

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