Smith benched, Shumpert, Hardaway shine in win over the Heat

Harris Decker

J.R. Smith finally got what was coming to him.

Mike Woodson declined to answer questions about Smith all day, right up until game time. No one knew what Woodson had in store for the veteran shooting guard.

JR Smith Knicks

After being fined $50,000 by the league for multiple instances of unsportsmanlike conduct, Woodson took the primetime game against the Miami Heat to make a statement. Without telling a soul (or at least a member of the media), he benched Smith.

Everyone inside Madison Square Garden could feel it as Iman Shumpert played almost the entire first quarter. Instead of the usual spots when Smith would normally check in, he sat on the bench next to the injured Metta World Peace. It became obvious that Smith wouldn’t play when, with 1:10 to go in the first, Tim Hardaway Jr., replaced Shumpert.

Without Smith in the lineup, the other shooting guards shined. Shumpert had a quiet first half before going off with four clutch three pointers in the second. Hardaway Jr. also had a big night, posterizing Ray Allen on a put back slam and hitting the teams only three of the first half. He also played solid defense down the stretch. Shumpert ended the game with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

The ball movement was crystal clear without Smith in the lineup. Relegated to the bench, the Knicks racked up 25 assists. Missing was the isolation basketball that Smith loves and in its place was passing, screens and open shots created by Smith’s benching.

Best of all was the unexpected nature of the benching. Smith said after the game that he took the court for warmups before the game, completely unaware of his fate for the game.

“I think that’s the most misleading part of it,” Smith said. “I could see if I was told, but there was no conversation about it.” In addition to this, he stated after the game that he was unsure about his future as a member of the New York Knicks.

Truth is, I’d expect Smith to be back out there tomorrow against the 76ers but hopefully his benching sent a message. You can’t just do whatever you want and get away with it. I hope that Woodson keeps a close eye on Smith over the rest of the season and if he should trip up again, I’d expect Woodson to lower the hammer again.

99 comments
BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

Kudos to Mike Woodson, who finally, finally doled out some measure of "accountability".  He usually lets JR run wild for 30 min/game, no matter what's happening on the court (and even with JR coming back off surgery).


If JR isn't part of the Knicks future, where can he go?  What other team wants anything to do with his baggage?  There is nowhere for JR to leave and nowhere for the Knicks to send him.  We can only hope that JR's fully heals up by season's end and responds positively to Woodson's newfound backbone.  If Woody continues to make decisions in the best interest of the TEAM, and not individuals, the Knicks can get this season back on track in this awful Eastern Conference.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Question...when was the last time a team beat the WCF and ECF finals team from the year before (with the team in tact) in the same week??

George Gamble
George Gamble

Better to just continue to sit him for now.  I don't think the offense can take 2 players who are ball hogs.  Melo has earned that.  Smith has not.  Maybe a week or two of benching will knock some sense into him.  He's become so entitled that it does not occur to him that he is hurting the team with his thoughtless chucking every night.

tifoso6
tifoso6

There seems to be a disagreement  on JR, stay or let go. It would be interesting to do a poll on the question. I would let him go. He is too disruptive and erratic.   


donche
donche

Sad part is...Woodson has a job just as much as JR...and Woodson isn't perfect but one of his flaws is JR


And if Woodson wants to keep his job...he has to punish players by there play for long stretches instead of punishing after untying shoe laces


If woodson wants to win...he pushes to get rid of JR and Felton if he goes back to how he was earlier in the year.

knicks313
knicks313

This one goes out to Akamarb, OLD_KNICK, BiggieSmalls, VerySilentJay and Kiyan Carter:


1. I'm here. Still here and always here. So your "sandro disappears during winning times" ish is a fail. Once and for all.


2. All you guys have said that I should stop posting, due to my negativity and lack of basketball knowledgeable. Funny that when I seem to follow your advice, you all go crazy and call my name out loud to come to life again. Psychotic much?


3. There'd more to life than this blog. We are all humans, with lives beyond this board, or at least I'd like to think so. I'm currently in Angola, leading a team of young volunteers through the construction of a school for childes in need.


There's a +6 hour differential, so as you might understand, It's impossible to me to be around ad much as before. Not that this is any of your business, but since you've been showing so much interest in my whereabouts, there you go.


I'd like to see you following the Knicks in a country that barely has internet connection and with such a lag timewise. While you sleep on your cozy beds, I,m sleeping on a bed of rocks. While you watch the Knicks games with beer and nachos, I'm out here in the mud, helping the life of others. 


So feel free to make fun of me. Feel free to say that I'm hiding, losing money on bets (that I can't even do here) and all the stuff you want. Now you know I can't be around to defend myself, so have a blast at it.


4. Glad to see the Knicks showing some life. They're 20 games late but better late than never. I'll be back in February, hopefully with a .500 team already.


PS - Duhon once had a 23 assists game. Is he any good? Consider that while talking about Felton. Melo seems to be beasting. Still not 130 mil beasting. Woodson is still not a good coach. Praise him for the 3 game winning streak all you want, his coaching still leaves much to be desired. Amare grabbed 11 boards and somehow he is back? lol. I appreciate the humor.


Well, back to real life now. Where these children's smiles are way more important than Carmelo's 30 points or whatever.


Enjoy our good Knicks and laugh all you want while I'm away, making something that really matters to this world. Peace.

Max Denby
Max Denby

I honestly think this is nonsense. I like the benching. BUT, if you watch closely, JR does pass the rock, he swings it around, he's just been missing his own shots. And he is often the guy that bales the knicks out bad possessions.

JR will help this team this year, mark my words, Y'all

JayfromtheFix
JayfromtheFix

While i agree JR needed the DNP i dont think he should be out of the rotation. We need JR to be the 6th man of the year JR again if we have any hopes of going to the NBA finals. I think he should play next game and if he does something dumb bench him and eventually he will learn whats good and whats bad. Dont get it twisted Bad JR is bad but we NEED GOOD JR. 


Good JR can get us over the top and send us to the playoffs/ECF/NBA FINALS. Yea good JR can be that good.

lobcity
lobcity

JR doesnt even know that he has a problem. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong... LOL

airfeet
airfeet

Is he out of the rotation now?

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Interesting Tommy Beer tweets on JR

  1. Tommy Beer @TommyBeer 17m

    If JR had accepted the Knicks original offer, JR would be owed ~6.6 million for the 2016-17 season… Knicks dodged a major bullet

     
  2. Tommy Beer @TommyBeer 25m

    JR Smith originally agreed to accept NY’s 4-year deal… but later opted for just 3 years so he could become a free-agent sooner.

     
  3. Tommy Beer @TommyBeer 29m

    Of all the foolish decisions JR has made this year– 1 which benefits the Knicks was JR deciding to not take the 4th year on his new contract

rico
rico

@DolanitisDr Nearly every team has a head case or a bad contract they'd love to unload. For all the torching of JR this season, there were at least 25 other teams that were torched by him last year.  As a Fan, coach, GM there's always some player on an opposing team that has their way with your team and  they think "wow I wish we had that guy".  Guess what?  There are plenty of teams out there that would or should be interested in JR.  There are also lot's of coaches who think they have the midas touch and will focus JR to deliver.   


I wouldn't be so certain he is "untradable". 

Almost every player is tradable, it's just a matter of what you are willing to bring back in return. 

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@BiggieSmalls @SandroGuedes  

Check the time difference between Luanda and New York ... I believe it's 6 hours.  Not to mention the internet connection issues in a developing country, which I have personally experienced as well (though I can't speak for Angola in particular).

#CriticalThinking

PS - Sandro, when did you gain so many devoted followers?  Wow. 

akamarb
akamarb

leading villagers to build schools and bring peace  


HAHAHAHA

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@OLD_KNICK 

Everyone hated Shump before they hated JR. Now they Love Shump and JR is the subject of scorn.

rgm891
rgm891

That's incredible old knick. Proud to have u on board and survived that disaster!!!!!!

rgm891
rgm891

Good for you man. Much respect and good luck sandro!!!!!

danewyorkr
danewyorkr

I have no problem with the negative or so called negative people on the blog because I could be one of them but those same people are the ones that keep it real and state what exactly is wrong with the team. What I don't like is the people that pretend everything is going swell when you have a coach who has no idea how to strategize and sub or go with the hot hand. You also have players that are very selfish and do not share the ball. We all know what basketball should be played like and it is a team sport but people like Woodson and a bunch of others on this blog just don't get it. the last few games the finally started playing the right way and people giving praise to the coach and saying that the bloggers are crazy when we have been preaching for the play this way since the preseason. I don't agree with Sandro all the time but I habe no doubt that he is a true fan.

akamarb
akamarb

Angola, leading a team of young volunteers through the construction of a school for childes in need.


GET THE FVCK OUTTA HERE


akamarb
akamarb

there u are...how did that cheese taste in that rat hole that u were in...and to your other points...of course we are all humans and of course we all do things outside this blog....its just funny when we lose you are here a lot and when we win you are barely here...and thats a fact...that was my only point

akamarb
akamarb

coming from a guy with a name - "expect the worst" LOL

onewhoknix
onewhoknix

@ExpectTheWorst I really don't understand how you really are calling out people for their optimism rather than commenting on a great win and possibly the most fun game to watch all season. I just don't get it. I don't agree with everything Biggie says either but comment about the win not about someone rooting for their team even though sometimes delusional.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@ExpectTheWorstLMAO!  They already did that for Grunwalds and the season hadn't even started. 

We are 13-22 and they have declared us contenders already and the cream is rising to the top!  

Is there such a thing as premature ree-tardation?


xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Max DenbyHe surely can but it's upon our Woody to make sure JR is ready mentally and physically to help this team and know his role.  

We don't need shoe tie boy!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@JayfromtheFixWoody has to help bring about a Good JR. JR needs some tough love and get back to the basics of what got him the 6th man award.  

Woody has coddled JR too much this year when his play or attention to detail hasn't warranted it. 

Once JR sees that the team will go on and play okay without him, he will surely come around.

Did you see him looking very awkward on the bench last night? When it became obvious we had this game, he got up a tried to oversell his happiness.  Nothing like seeing the train go by without ya! 


Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@JayfromtheFix 

If you look over JR's career, last year was well above his norm. He was playing for a contract and scored 5+ ppg over his career average. I don't think we will see the JR from 2012-13. Not to say he can't be a meaningful contributor, but he had a career year playing for a contract. 

The other inhibiting factor is that Bargnani will cut into JR's shot totals. He won't see 15.6 shots per game with Bargnani and Melo as the 1-2 punch.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@rico @DolanitisDr 

Yes, any contract is tradable, as long as you include enough draft picks/assets (yes, I'd wager there are teams that would take on Amar'es contract right now if you included enough draft picks).  I just believe that right now JR is undesirable on his own.  A contender won't want to rock the boat and pick up a player that needs babysitting, and a tanking team won't want to poison the culture they're trying to build.  


The only possible trade partner I could imagine would be a middling team with an idiot GM.  And there may indeed be a few of those.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@OLD_KNICK LOL Old Knick, we have been only on 2 winning streaks. One for 2 games and the other now which is 3 games.  So we would only see him twice so far. 

akamarb
akamarb

he is full of $hit...he cant lead anything

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@kneggyknik@ExpectTheWorst 

I don't need to see that many wins in a row but I surely needs to see our team defending the home court consistently and playing with some pride and smarts.  

It's one thing to lose on the road but to consistently not show up at home when we have our home crowd is unacceptable. 

 

Max Denby
Max Denby

Or maybe he coming off injury this year? You have no idea why his play has regressed. I think we will see a much much better JR in the second half.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieSmalls@Knicks_Fanatic 

That's a big IF, Biggie!

I just don't see how JR is going to find enough shots to get anywhere near 19 ppg. The Knicks are averaging 83 shots per game. JR is now at a minimum, the third option behind Melo and Bargnani. With Hardaway emerging and STAT healthy (fingers crossed) JR will revert back to his 13.1 career scoring average.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@BiggieSmalls 

I dunno, Angola is a former Portuguese colony so it seems unsurprising that someone from Portugal would choose to volunteer in that country.


But whatever the case; I'm just not understanding this heated back-and-forth on a single commenter's current location and posting habits.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@OLD_KNICKI'm just teasing ya!  lol  So all our Knicks have to do is win which is what we all should want and Sandro will be farming and too busy! 

akamarb
akamarb

bro we just beat the top two teams in the nba HANDILY...and should have won 5 straight if it wasnt for JRS dumb shot....not saying we will win the ring - but this is certainly no accident....i dont need the team to win 12 out of 13 in order to see they are playing good , unlike you...im a basketball savant - so i see trends way before you...you are always late to the game and always bill be

onewhoknix
onewhoknix

@xmenreturn @ExpectTheWorst I understand we are all fans and sometimes you put up really insightful posts but then spend the next 5 posts calling ppl out. Just ignore it if you see it as troll-ish.

And whats with the all caps? lol

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@ExpectTheWorst  It's great to be optimistic about our teams but Biggie and Akamarb takes it far over the top and even tries to shun those who can be critical of their teams fairly imo. 

We are not just cheerleaders, we are avid fans that have some understanding of the game because many of us have played it a rather high level or followed it with great interest at least.  

Biggie gets a Woody every time he just says our coach's name. He used to do that with Pringles too before the chips went stale on him.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Max Denby 

I do know that JR is no longer the number 2 option when the Knicks go big. If the Knicks go down the stretch with a front line of Chandler, Bargnani/STAT, and Melo, with Felton as the PG. JR will have to compete with Shump and THJR for playing time.

Last year JR and Melo took 22.2 and 15.6 shots per game. Both had career years. They won't get that many shots this season.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieSmalls@Knicks_Fanatic 

It's not a question of talent, nor about one season of production, nor winning an award. He is a well above average bench player, but that excludes a slew of starters. Right now, he is playing the worst ball of his career and should have his minutes cut based on that, not the shoelace escapades. 

Monta Ellis is a better player than JR and an above average talent. Neither are stars.