If the New York Knicks are going to go down, they’re going down swinging. They may not make the playoffs, but this team refuses to go out softly, quietly.
In a virtual must-win for the New York Knicks, facing the Miami Heat in Miami, the Knicks’ offense turned to J.R. Smith as Carmelo Anthony is just not himself with a bum shoulder. Smith finished the game with 32 points on 11-28 shooting, 10-22 (!!!) from downtown. His 10 made three-pointers was a Knicks record; his 22 attempts was an NBA record.
The terrific Oakley and Allen were kind enough to compile all of J.R. Smith’s launches from three-point range yesterday (and to the perfect anthem, too):
Now, a lot of those were pretty good looks, and Smith deserves credit for knocking down five three-pointers (by my count) in the fourth quarter. Obviously, that number jacked up as Smith had hit a few in a row in the final minutes and then began launching to try and get the Knicks back in the game.
Similarly, while his overall shooting was pretty poor (39%), going 10-22 from downtown isn’t a bad clip — 45% three-point shooting is a good number. In the month of April, Smith is 24-50 from beyond the arc, and in his last seven games he’s 41-89 from distance.
As laughable as those numbers are, Smith has been the Knicks’ best performer in their recent stretch of games. In those seven games, he’s averaging 23.7 points on 46.5% FG with 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Smith has attributed his recent play to finally being healthy and playing comfortably on his surgically repaired knee. Now, if being healthy means Smith continues to take 10 or more attempts from three-point range, that might be a little absurd…. Maybe tone it down just a bit, J.R.