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Undefeated Knicks’ X-Factor: J.R. Smith?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 16, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Clear eyes and full hearts can’t lose.
Neither can the New York Knicks, and J.R. Smith’s clear eyes have helped.
The shooting guard scored 17 points Thursday in a 104-100 comeback road win against the San Antonio Spurs. The Knicks now are 6-0 as the only unbeaten team in the NBA, and Smith has emerged as a viable candidate for sixth man of the year. He’s averaging a career-best 16.0 points a game, making an outrageous 73.7% of his three-pointers.
Before the game, Smith offered an explanation for his uptick in performance, which coach Mike Woodson described as being “more professional” this season than he was last season in the Big Apple.
“The New York City nightlife pretty much got to me,” he said (via The New York Post). “I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand.”
Smith joined the Knicks in the middle of last season after a stint in the Chinese Basketball Assocation during the NBA lockout. He had a rocky stint in the CBA while missing 80 practices and shootarounds, the Post reported.
He’s grown in the past offseason, though.
“A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off,” Smith said. “This year, it’s been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip.”
He’s living the straight and narrow, and the basket is wide open.
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