Jan 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) advances the ball during the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden. Portland won 105-100. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Is J.R. Smith Worthy of Being an All-Star?

The run that New York Knicks’ guard J.R. Smith has been on as of late has been nothing short of outstanding – scoring 20 or more points in five straight games.

But it hasn’t just been the recent hot streak for Smith as he has put together a complete season to date, averaging career-highs in points (16.6) and rebounds (5.2) for a Knicks team that sports one of the best records in the NBA at 22-10.

Jan. 3, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) drives to the basket as San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) gives chase during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I only bring that up because it has been the norm in the NBA that the good teams are well represented when it comes to the All-Star Game.

That begs the question of if Smith keeps this up-and he should as right now he is the Knicks clear No. 2 scoring option-is Smith worthy of being selected as an All-Star?

“Absolutely,” Mike Woodson told ESPN’s Jared Zwerling. “That was the whole idea of coming into this season is putting him in that position as a guy coming off the bench that could lead the league and score a lot of points off the bench. … I think he’s starting to step up. He’s being more patient about his play and he’s trying to do it on both ends of the floor. That’s what’s so nice about it.”

Smith should be considered for one of the Eastern Conference reserve spots solely based on the fact that he is a player who’s doing everything at both ends of the floor. His game has changed a ton. Smith is no longer a guy who just chucks up 25 questionable shots per game, but instead a player that is doing everything to help his team win.

Sure his scoring is the most notable thing, but he has been unselfish, a great rebounder and a surprisingly good defender. But as I mentioned before, he is playing a major role in helping his team win at both ends of the floor and that is what should get him selected.

Right now Smith is among a small handful of guys that should be in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year Award and it would be nice to add an All-Star selection to that candidacy.

However Smith is more focused on his team, simply telling Zwerling, “I want to be an All-Star for my team.”

Hopefully he will get the opportunity to be both an All-Star for the Knicks and one for the Eastern Conference as well.

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Tags: J.R. Smith Mike Woodson New York Knicks

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