J.R. Smith blames postseason struggles on his upsetting of ‘the NBA gods’

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J.R. Smith has had a rough go of things, on and off the court, ever since a single boneheaded decision he made during Game 3 of the Knicks’ first round playoff series against the Celtics.

With his team leading by 19 points at the time and well on their way to a 3-0 lead in the series, Smith maliciously elbowed Jason Terry, which resulted in a one-game suspension.

His shooting percentage plummeted from then on, and Smith was never able to make better than 38.5 percent of his shots in any of his remaining eight postseason appearances.

Smith traces his struggles directly to that elbow he threw at Terry, which he says upset the basketball gods.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Why did J.R. Smith struggle so mightily in the postseason last spring?

Smith himself has an answer for you.

“I call it ‘pissing the NBA gods off,’ ” Smith said. “You’re making, making, making a lot of shots — and you mess with the basketball game and the game gets you back. And it definitely got me back.”

Smith also underwent knee surgery over the summer (but only after he made sure to sign his new contract), and will serve a five-game suspension whenever he’s healthy enough to return due to violating the league’s drug policy.

It would seem that the basketball gods have punished Smith plenty for his transgression. But as Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said recently, it may be time for him to grow up a bit and start taking some personal responsibility.