Saturday, December 14, 2013
Notes: Where was J.R.?
By Brian Robb | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
BOSTON -- There were plenty of questions after another disappointing Knicks loss on Friday night. The biggest one of the night though was clear; Why did J.R. Smith take just one shot in a game he played 27 minutes?
Smith did not connect on that one attempt, a wide-open 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. Missing was a common theme in the Knicks' backcourt Friday night, as Mike Woodson's guards combined to score 12 points on the night on 3-of-20 shooting.
Woodson was not happy that Smith was responsible for only one of those shots.
"I don't know what that's about," Woodson said. "He didn't take many shots tonight and Iman [Shumpert] was just 1-for-8. I just got to get my 2's working because they are a big piece of the puzzle and right now they are struggling a little bit."
Shumpert played despite suffering a bruised right knee on Wednesday night against the Bulls. The third-year guard missed badly on several jump shots and Woodson stuck with Smith over him in the fourth quarter.
Smith tried to explain his lack of attempts after the game.
"We have enough guys on the offensive end. In order to get those guys going, we have to have someone who can make plays to get them easier shots and I take that upon myself. I want my teammates to get easier shots, feel good about playing and shooting and hopefully that works."
Smith believes that he needs to continue to help his teammates get good looks.
"Even with Raymond [Felton healthy], we still need playmakers. We have enough scorers. We need people who can put those guys in position to excel at what they do. I take that upon myself to make my teammates better," Smith said.
Will Smith's pass-first offense continue Saturday night against the Hawks? Stay tuned.
A PATIENT PEACE:Metta World Peace did not play for the second straight game Friday night. Woodson acknowledged before the game that World Peace was currently out of his rotation.
The veteran small forward has also been involved in recent trade rumors involving a proposed trade for Kyle Lowry. Despite those reports, World Peace was not fazed by his recent demotion or the rumors. He spoke candidly about both topics before the game.
On whether he's upset with his demotion to the bench: "Not at all, Whatever happens, happens, you know? I'm in shape. The main thing for me is to stay in shape. I always like to be ready and like I said, I could still average 20 [points] in this league."
World Peace continued: "When you take on a challenge, some things are out of your control. That's not something you worry about, you can't worry about if your working and someone moves your desk. It is what it is. The desk is moved and he wants you to work on another side. My desk has been moved to a role on the bench, but it's okay. You can still write great stories, I can still write great stories."
On trade rumors: "There's nothing to deal with. It's like. ... what am I dealing with? Getting paid? Playing basketball? That's what I'm dealing with here? I know some guys take trade rumors more personally and things like that. ... I work hard, I can still play and I love challenges. This year, I wanted something that was going to be an adventure, something different; [whether it be playing in] China, [playing for the] Knicks, or [playing] arena football. That was [what I was choosing from]. There was nothing else it was going to be. This was the adventure I was talking about. I just wanted to hop into an adventure. Sometimes it's good to be ready for the unpredictable."