J.R. Smith has cheekbone fracture, will wear mask for a while


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.