Even though Smith has been shooting 28% this series against the Pacers in the 2nd round playoff, the Sixth Man of The Year cant let his slumps get the best of him.
From NY Daily News, speaking after their disappointing 93-82 lost to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, JR Smith gave every Knick fan a place to take their blame… him.
“My frustration with myself is extremely high. I take the blame for this whole series,” Smith said after he shot 7-for-22 and finished with 19 points and two rebounds. “It started off in (Game 5) in Boston… I haven’t been playing (like) myself. I haven’t been playing my part.
“I’ve been letting my teammates down. I’ve been letting my coaches down. And it doesn’t feel good.”
“Everybody’s been encouraging me, ‘Keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting,’” Smith said. “I’m still trying to get to the basket, trying to get easy ones, easy layups, get to the free-throw line.
“But I’m even missing layups, too. I missed a technical free throw tonight. It’s just frustrating.”
“I don’t make excuses. Other people have been playing through sicknesses and injuries, and I’ve got to be able to step up and do what I do,” Smith said. “Without a doubt, I have to play more efficient. I have to rebound the ball, too. One rebound, two rebounds is not enough.
“(Indiana’s) Paul George is out there getting (14) rebounds as a wing player like myself. We’re pretty much playing the same minutes. It’s unacceptable. I have to keep him off the glass, keep the other wings off the glass, come up with loose balls, and overall, just play better. Shooting 7-for-22 isn’t going to get it done, either.”
But can Knicks place the entire blame on Smith? Carmelo didn’t even show up the fourth quarter Tuesday night. Smith does deserve some criticism, but this entire series doesn’t fall on just him. This is Carmelo’s team, or so I thought, Melo constantly reminds people that the Knicks are “the better team” but have yet to prove that statement. Even Mike Woodson fails to fully hold Melo accountable by saying:
“I don’t want it to be where we have to depend on Melo to always bail us out,” he said. “We have enough scorers around Melo.”
So with the blame being shifted from one player to another and no one stepping up, where do the Knicks start to repair their team?