J.R. Smith is enjoying a stretch in which he is playing the best basketball of his career. He’s currently averaging 18.2 points per game this season, which is second on the club trailing only Carmelo Anthony. This morning when asked about head coach Mike Woodson calling Smith “more professional,” J.R. gave the reason why: he’s not partying as much. Smith said:
“I’m not going to lie ,the New York City nightlife pretty much got to me. I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand.”
“Every day I’m getting into the gym, getting in as much work as I can. A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off. This year, it’s been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip. You come and work hard. If I work hard, maybe the next guy will see me work hard. “
J.R. is enjoying the hottest start of the season in his career. He’s hit 13 of the 18 three pointers he’s attempted and is a big reason why the Knicks are 5-0. He’s an early candidate for the sixth man of the year award. If Smith continues to play like he has and his off the court troubles are over, he could be looking at a major pay increase in the offseason.
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