Mike Woodson Prefers Having J.R. Smith Come off Bench

The New York Knicks are a fairly deep team and they have reserves on their roster that have the full potential to be starters. One of those players is J.R. Smith, but Knicks coach Mike Woodson likes where he has his back-up shooting guard.

Although Smith is one of the explosive scorers in the NBA and is surely starting material, Woodson likes what Smith brings the Knicks off the bench. Smith expressed his desire to start this upcoming season, but Woodson will like to see Smith embrace the role of sixth man. Woodson spoke to the New York Daily News and he talked about what Smith could accomplish if he excels in his role off the bench.

“Like I told J.R., if he comes off (the bench), ‘Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Heck, he can be the best player coming off the bench in the league and perhaps win the Sixth Man Award. Hopefully, that parlays into a lot of wins and getting us to a championship round because at the end of the day that’s what we’re in it for.”

Smith has proven that he can be one of the best offensive players in the NBA, but now he must improve on the defensive end of the court. The Knicks are placing a heavy emphasis on defense this upcoming, so scoring alone will not get Smith time on the court.

Smith surely has the potential to be the Sixth Man of the Year in 2012-13, as long as he is determined and motivated to succeed. J.R. Smith has had some maturity issues in the past, but if he show the world that he is now a different player, Smith will be among the leaders for the award.

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