Found April 22, 2013 on
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
By Kenneth Teape
In what many expect to be a big award winning season for the Knicks, the first award came rolling in today in the form of Sixth Man of the Year for J.R. Smith. Smith is the third Knick in franchise to win the award, joining John Starks (1996-1997) and Anthony Mason (1994-1995). Smith beat out another former Knick, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who finished second.
Smith led all bench players in scoring this season with 18.1 points per game, with Crawford next at 16.5 points and Golden State point guard Jarrett Jack third with 12.9.
For much of the season it looked like Smith would be the runner-up to Crawford, having a Smith like season people have become accustomed to seeing as he showed flashes of brilliance and the potential people see in him but going back to his old ways and playing poorly for stretches as well. January was the epitome of this, as he struggled shooting the ball throughout the month, going 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from the three-point line.
But midway through March, coincidentally when the Knicks started to get hammered by injuries, something clicked for Smith and he changed his game around. He began settling for jumpers less, instead, attacking the basket and getting into the lane; causing problems for opposing defenses and making a living at the free throw line.
Smith was a model of consistency during the Knicks 13-game winning streak, putting up multiple 30 point and 50 percent shooting games. He averaged 23.9 points per game during the winning streak on 49 percent shooting, much higher than his per game stats of 16.7 and 40 percent prior to the streak. There was one simple catalyst in Smith’s production rising and it was that he was taking better shots and playing smarter basketball.
Smith’s percentage of shots taken at the rim in the restricted area doubled during his outstanding stretch compared to the rest of his season, taking 15.6 percent of his shots in that area prior to March 18th and 33 percent in the 13 games after.
Smith was not just a scoring machine for the Knicks, but also grabbed a career high 5.3 rebounds per game in addition to a near career high 2.7 assists per game. He finished the season shooting 42.2 percent from the field and a respectable 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
A big reason for Smith’s performance increasing so much to the level it has this season is because of his maturity, a thing that can be credited to the work of Head Coach Mike Woodson.
“He’s grown as a player,” Woodson said on the eve of the playoffs. “He’s been very coachable. Yeah, we’ve had our battles over the year, but again, I’m paid to coach, he’s paid to play. He’s benefited from everything we’ve asked him to do and he’s had a lot to do with that because he’s learned his craft well and he’s pushed himself. He’s highly motivated.”
Carmelo Anthony, who played with Smith in Denver for 4 ½ seasons before being reunited together in New York last season, also commented on the growth that he has seen from Smith. “He’s just focused. I saw a different J.R. this year. Everybody saw a different J.R. this year. He’s locked in, he’s focused and he wants to win. It’s about that time.”
The Knicks are hoping that Smith can continue playing as he did to end the season as Anthony cannot be the only source of scoring for the Knicks with no one sure when Amar’e Stoudemire is going to return.
The biggest challenge for the Knicks with Smith will come this summer, when he has a chance to become an unrestricted free agent. This past offseason Smith signed a two-year contract worth $2.8 million dollars with a player option for the second year, which he is bound to decline. The Knicks do hold Smith’s Early Bird Rights’ meaning they can go over the salary cap to keep him and pay him 175 percent of his current $2.8 million dollar salary, meaning the Knicks can give him $5.5 million next season.
However, another team can offer Smith a lot more than that and it will most likely come down to what he feels most comfortable doing. He seems to enjoy being in New York, as he is close to his family and has played the best basketball of his career here, but the pasture might be greener on another team; as not only more money for the 27-year old just hitting his prime, but a starting spot as well. Smith expressed he would like to star before the season, can also be made possible by another team as it seems that Woodson is content to use Smith off the bench for as long as he is the head coach.
It will be an interesting offseason for the Knicks and Smith and hopefully general manager Glen Grunwald can get creative to keep Smith as he did last season to keep Steve Novak and bring in players like Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd this season.
The post Knicks Guard J.R. Smith Has Come a Long Way appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
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AROUND THE WEB
JR Smith was appropriately awarded the 6th Man of the Year Award today by the NBA. He put together a career season for the New York Knicks and is one of the primary reasons they won the Atlantic Division title and currently hold a 1-0 series lead as a #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Smith finished averaging 18.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists per game...
I hope New York Knicks fans are cherishing every moment they have with J.R. Smith, because there’s a possibility that he won’t return next season.
According to Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops, Smith is expected to opt of his contract following the season.
Smith is coming off of a career year in which he turned in career highs across the board: 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and...
BallertainmentJR Smith named KIA Sixth Man of the Year
JR Smith was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year, to no ones surprise.
The 8-year pro played in 80 games and averaged 18 PPG off the bench this past regular season for the New York Knicks.
The Knicks (2nd seed in the East) have not won a playoff series since ’99-00, so this award gives their already favored team an extra boost...
We joke around about JR Smith a lot, because he provides us with a lot of material to work with, but he had a better season than I thought he would with the Knicks.
He didn’t get into any trouble and was for the most part a team player. The Knicks wouldn’t be in the position they are in now without him.
He is still JR, so there will be times that he drives Knicks fans crazy with...
J.R. Smith was on fire at the end of the first quarter, he nailed two clutch jumpers including the long-distance buzzer-beater which you can see in the video. That was great and all but his celebration was the real gem. We have no clue what he was actually doing, but we want more of it. Enjoy it in .GIF format.
[Los That Sports Blog]
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
The post Knicks Practice and J.R. Smith Award: 4/22 appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
Earl hasn’t changed much over the years.
In High School, Young Earl had a dream and now he is living it out in the NBA. Asking who wants the pipe to any female who happens to engage him in DMs or stars on Love and Hip-Hop.
Can’t hate on that.
Earl is who he is, a gunner who is going to get chicks or die trying.
Thanks to our friend @Shay_Marie for trying down this photo.
Nearing the end of the first quarter of game two of the Celtics/Knicks, New York guard J.R. Smith decided to show off his range and he hit an impressive buzzer beater to conclude the quarter.
The below video shows J.R. getting the ball with less than four seconds to play and then heaving a long-distance three pointer with two Celtics defender draped all over him:
Before the start...
New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith accepted his 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year award Monday afternoon in New York. Smith beat out Clippers’ Jamal Crawford as the NBA’s best player in a reserve role. In a year that featured many injuries to the Knicks roster, Smith was a constant force and played in 80 of the Knicks 82 games and averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in...
Congratulations to New York Knicks sharp shooter J.R. Smith, as he was named the 2013 Kia Sixth Man of the year earlier today. J.R. was looking swell for his big moment, enrobed in chic custom suiting, keeping the hues neutral, as he held his award with pride. Well deserved, J.R. has elevated his game to another level this season, becoming an instant spark off the bench, and the...
For someone who wanted to start, he has made coming off the bench his calling card and now he was rewarded for his hard work. JR Smith won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award Monday after turning a role he didn’t want into one of the strengths of the New York Knicks’ first division championship team in nearly two decades.
Smith averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the...
J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks will be honored as the NBA's sixth man of the year instead of the Clippers' Jamal Crawford, according to a number of reports citing league sources.
Early in the season, it was apparent that the Clippers' high-scoring acquisition was the front-runner for the award as he helped the team vault to the top of the NBA standings and eventually...
If this doesn’t get you off your couch, nothing will.
Down by a score of 53-49 at the end of the first half, and defense a concern, the Knicks came out in the second half and gave up a total of 25 points, including just 8 in the 4th quarter. It was the lowest point total in a second half ever in the much storied Celtics playoff history, and the Knicks went on to win game 1 of the series by a final score of 85-78. It wasn’t pretty...