The Knicks had an opportunity to win their second straight game against a team that has performed much better than New York has to this point, but another bone-headed mistake in a season that’s been full of them derailed that chance.
Tied with the Rockets with under a minute remaining, New York inbounded the ball with 16 seconds left on the shot clock. After a miss from Beno Udrih, an offensive rebound from Tyson Chandler and a reset of the offense, Udrih got it back and kicked it to J.R. Smith at the top of the three-point arc with 21 seconds remaining.
As we all realized, both at the time and with the benefit of hindsight, Smith didn’t need to immediately launch the shot. But he did anyway, and once it rimmed out, Houston secured the rebound and won the game by virtue of two free throws from Aaron Brooks.
It wasn’t the smartest of plays, and Smith admitted as much afterward.
J.R. Smith says he thought the Knicks were down 2 when he took the ill advised three. “That’s bad basketball IQ on me,” he said.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) January 4, 2014
Bone head play! Slander well deserved!
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) January 4, 2014
The slander is indeed well-deserved, but in Smith’s defense, his shot probably wasn’t as bad as the one Andrea Bargnani took a few weeks back.
It was far from a smart play by Smith, but at some point the overall focus of the team has to be called into question when multiple players aren’t aware of the time remaining and the game’s situation.