Apparently, Mike Woodson and the Knicks are talking hard line with J.R. Smith in hopes of not letting him become a distraction as they try to claw back into the playoffs.
We’ll see how that goes.
Smith was benched for the second time in four games Tuesday and the reasons were tied to him not trying to be a good teammate, reports the New York Post.
J.R. Smith was bellyaching on the bench to his Knicks teammates about not playing during Monday’s overtime session against the Suns, according to an eyewitness. It is unclear whether his displeasure resulted in coach Mike Woodson not playing Smith on Tuesday in Charlotte, but he was vocal on the bench about playing just 45 seconds of the 5-minute overtime as the Knicks pulled out the 98-96 victory.
The source said Smith appeared “disconnected,” and Smith then reportedly was late for a meeting in the hotel Tuesday before the Knicks faced the Bobcats.
Note to J.R.: You were benched in OT because of that airball at the end of regulation against the Suns. It was pretty obvious to the rest of us.
Woodson was asked about the Knicks trading Smith — he can be moved as of Wednesday — but that is unlikely as there is no market for a guy with declining skills considered a distraction who is owed $12.3 million over the next two years after this one. The Knicks would need to throw sweeteners in or take on a worse contract to get the deal done.
Smith is who he always was, it’s just because he’s not producing at the same level and the Knicks are not winning the franchise doesn’t want to put up with it.
But they are stuck with him for a while.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try: