Nov 10, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) drives around San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: J.R. Smith to start vs. Hawks

The New York Knicks enter tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks a team that is struggling for answers.

With that being said, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is a desperate coach and we all know that desperate coaches to desperate things.

Woodson is desperate enough to insert J.R. Smith into the Knicks starting lineup, that according to Jonah Ballow of


Smith made his season debut Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs in his normal sixth man role. Apparently a 1-for-9 performance from the floor is good enough to earn Smith a promotion.

However it was worse than that, wrote Yahoo! Sports Dan Devine:

That said, ‘rusty’ seems like an awfully kind word for Smith’s five-point, 1-for-9 shooting, four-turnover, defensively lackadaisical 20 1/2-minute outing—a performance that looks even worse coming in the context of a massive 120-89 home-court beatdown that dropped the Knicks to 2-4 on the season.

Smith will start at the shooting guard position opposite point guard Raymond Felton. They will be joined by Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani.

Smith came off the bench last season and turned his best career year, winning Sixth Man of the Year while averaging 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

It’s a sign of desperation based on the fact that Woodson will now have to attempt to hide Felton, Smith Anthony and Bargnani at the defensive end of the floor. In addition the reasoning behind the decision looks to be for Anthony and Smith to jack up as many shots of possible.

That’s not exactly the recipe for winning at either end of the floor.

If you are interested on how his teams have fared when Smith starts in his career (hat tip to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale), Smith’s teams are 53-77 he has averaged only 13.9 points on 41.1 percent shooting.

It will be interesting to see what Woodson turns to next.

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

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