Harris DeckerPolarizing is not the word. Polarizing implies that some fans like him and some fans hate him. J.R. Smith is not liked in New York and it doesn’t look like he has any interest in repairing that relationship with the fans.
On Thursday night, Mike Woodson made a statement by benching him and Knicks nation celebrated a win over the Heat. Now the question becomes, do you continue to let him ride the pine until he straightens up? The answer is no. You have to play him. The Knicks are not going to shoot the way they did against the Heat every night and although Smith might be on his way out of town, he is still a guy that makes the defense adjust.
One thing that must happen is a rearranging of the depth chart. Smith now has to be the 3rd shooting guard, behind Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr., both of whom played great on Thursday.
Smith needs to play but his minutes should be cut. His isolation style of play has no place on this Knicks team and we can only hope that Woodson has finally realized this.