J.R. Smith continues electric run, sets Knicks record for 3′s

Harris Decker

J.R. SmithJ.R. Smith was the lone bright spot for the Knicks during their Sunday afternoon loss to the Heat yesterday. In fact, Smith has been electric for a few weeks now and that culminated with his Knicks record 10 3′s made on an NBA record 22 attempts.

Finishing with 32 points, Smith was absolutely brilliant from outside. He has the unique ability to hit really good shots and really bad shots. While many think of him as a bad shot taker, he has been really good about shot selection as of late.

Over the past nine game, Smith is averaging 21.8 points, a big increase over his season average of 14.2. During that run, Smith has shot an incredible 49% from the field and 44% from behind the arc. His 3-point shooting percentage this season has been 39%.

What’s amazing about this run is how it contrasts from the early season struggles for Smith. In fact, 12 of his top 18 scoring games this season have come in 2014. He started the season with questions about the health of his knee and now those concerns seem to have been cast aside and he’s shooting freely and hitting big shots.

There were a few instances during this stretch when Smith was the only guy who could answer the call. Even during yesterdays game against the Heat, there was a stretch when Smith continuously responded to Lebron James shots with big 3′s of his own. He was a one man run stopper while Carmelo Anthony struggled mightily.

Smith’s season has been a microcosm of the Knicks as a whole. He’s been red hot at times and lost at times. We’re lucky enough to be witnessing him through a hot stretch right now and while it might not push the Knicks into the playoffs, he’s certainly making the case to Phil Jackson that he can fit into the triangle offense which will need some guys who can breakdown defenses and hit shots from outside.




20 comments
rico
rico

Too little too late

Rudy Wu
Rudy Wu

Now if only they, you know, won some more games...

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

Just like the entire team and coaching effort and commitment througout the sesason....

too little, waaaay too late.

denelor
denelor

JR isn't a bright spot in anything.  His horrendous first 60ish games are a big part of the reason the team is in the hole it's in.  

chudogz1
chudogz1

Amare was horsing Bosh when he dunked on him for an and one, and then scored again on him down low. We were right in the game, jR hit a few, then Amare never got the ball again. That's on the wanna be coach, WoodRow! Can't wait till he's some where else, shining his dome....

glider1965
glider1965

Assuming season is over (and it certainly looks like it is), the main question for Phil Jackson is whether he feels like he can transform Melo into a leader and the kind of superstar that not only "gets his" but makes everyone around him better.  Jackson also now has to factor in questions of durability, since Melo has broken down at the end of two seasons in a row.  And of course, Melo may make the decision for the Knicks and opt to leave even if the Knicks want him back.


Either way, let's move on from the circus side shows of three point attempt news and onto the circus side show of what to do with Melo and how to rebuild.  Sure to be filled with emotion, name calling and contradictory forum posts.


Personally, I never respected Melo more than after this season.  Guy clearly left it all on the court.  I could envision lots of stars phoning it mid way through this past season after getting one too many looks at the Goatee during a timeout.  Melo didn't do that and played his butt off.   


That said, my choice of dice roll would be for a complete tear down -- (a) accumulating picks if and how we can (sign and trades for Melo, trade for Chandler), (b) letting contracts expire, (c) running a bunch of hungry young camp invitees from undrafted free agents and foreign players to see if there is any hidden gems, (d) having a relatively poor 2014-15 season but during the season really giving our low-priced talent/ young guys meaningful minutes to show what they can do in the NBA setting and (e) hitting 2015 free agency hard.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Pevi Levi JR has 28 shot attempts with 22 of the beings 3s. I know Phil must be totally perplexed  with the b-ball IQ of this team!  

The Heat have absolutely no big men or shot blockers down low.  We should have pounded the paint more all game.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Pevi Levi Yep and Melo still couldn't win anything. At some pt your superstar will have to make decisions and that will usually be Melo's downfall. He's not a smart player and it will take a village to help him on this one. 

zebeto
zebeto

@sir_manolo Marc Gasol is too heavy a player .....dudes knees already are giving out !!!!! No thanks !

chudogz1
chudogz1

@sir manolo. Agreed about WoodRow getting chucked, but who would trade for a player that may be going to jail. Not that I'm hoping for it, but NY has tough gun laws... If that's the case, we need to hope that Mr. Silver, the Knicks fan that he is, makes some rule where we can cut him and move on!

tommy2b
tommy2b

@Mel Brown  If JR was playing like this to start the season (with a healthy Melo) this team would have lived up to it's potential.  JR's drug suspension and off-season knee surgery really killed us.  And don't get me started about Bargnani.

rico
rico

@Biggie  I love JR but I've seen enough of him in a Knick uniform

denelor
denelor

@akamarb  So what?  Shumpert isn't supposed to be Melo's #2. There' is no "at least" about JR's play.  He's been a colossal disappointment all year long.  Other player's play is irrelevant. 

rico
rico

@Biggie  I believe they can do a sign an trade if there is a 3rd team involved who is under the apron (what a ridiculous expression) 

or if they make a few trades or Melo splits they could get under le Apron

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Kiyan Carter Dude, Billups was one of the best clutch shooters in the game then. He was labeled this. Melo played with AI who was a great scorer. 

Stop the nonsense, after 10 years, Melo has been to the WSF once period.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Pevi Levi @xmenreturn@Kiyan CarterI disagree because after the game every player interviewed stated that they were unaware Melo had a shoulder injury during the game.

Why would any smrt player allow a coach to call his name to facilitate the most key play of the game when he knows he is hurt and has shot the ball poorly and decision making is not his forte?

Melo should have told woody that he is hurt so that a play could be drawn where he would be the decoy and JR or STATues would be the focus to score.


xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Pevi Levi @xmenreturn@Kiyan CarterTrue but neither one of these guys play smart ball.  Both like to score are rarely make others better or make good decisions in key moments of the game.

It's not just about cumulative scoring. Melo scored only 10 pts against the Wiz and we easily could have won that game.His lack of scoring this hurt us, his poor decision making did.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Kiyan Carter Yeah two put most of your highly paid players in the back of being blamed.  You'll do anything for your luv Melo.

Did you watch Melo yesterday at the end of the 3rd qtr shooting thr ball quickly he should have he should have held for the last shot?

That's a 10 year NBA veteran there! SMGDH