J.R. Smith has found his shooting touch lately — in his last five games he has averaged 17.6 points a game, hitting 43.8 from beyond the arc, and with a true shooting percentage of 60.4.
This isn’t going to help.
Smith has a small fracture in his cheekbone and will keep playing but will wear a mask Wednesday night against the Kings, the team announced. The injury happened against the Thunder Sunday when his face collided with Kevin Durant’s knee.
A lot of players struggle with their shot once they don the mask; we’ll have to see how Smith likes it.
Smith started slow this season — on the year he is averaging 13 points with a true shooting percentage of 49.3, well below the league average. He has been part of a down year overall for every Knick not named Carmelo Anthony, one that has left the Knicks looking up at the playoffs in a sad conference.
However, New York is just two games out of the last playoff spot in the East, ground that could be made up, but they are going to need the recent Smith, not the one from the start of the season.
We had an efficient Carmelo Anthony sighting in the preseason.
Anthony and the Knicks went up against the Wizards and ‘Melo hit 10-of-15 shots to score 21 points. He also had four rebounds and four assists.
Derrick Williams had 23 points on 11 shots to lead the Knicks in scoring, and New York won 115-104.
There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.
The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.
Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via CSNBayArea.com.
– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”
Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.
If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.
They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.
All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.