J.R. Smith Says Defense Is “Not Really My Area of Expertise”

01.24.14 4 years ago 2 Comments
Matt Barnes, J.R. Smith

Matt Barnes, J.R. Smith (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks enter tonight’s game against the visiting Bobcats having lost five straight games with an overall mark of 15-27. They’re, well, a bad basketball team. Most everyone understands this, including the Knicks themselves. The most glaring issue — out of many — concerns their 27th-ranked defense. When the New York Post‘s Marc Berman asked the dizzyingly out-of-touch J.R. Smith whether it was coach Mike Woodson‘s defensive scheme which was the primary culprit for their their bottom-feeding inability to prevent buckets, he answered as only J.R. can.

Via the New York Post:

“Right now we’re pretty much open to anything new,” Smith said. “The old stuff isn’t really getting it done. But at the end of the day, it’s going to come from the players. I don’t think it’s coach’s fault or the scheme’s fault. If you play hard and play smart it’s tough to lose games.”

Asked his view of Woodson’s defensive system, Smith said: “That’s really not my area of expertise. I’m more of a scoring-type player. I’ll leave that to those guys. Whatever they want to do, it’s OK with me. Just let me know.”

During today’s film session, Smith said Woodson had relayed a message about playing “smarter” (snicker), and to “not force anything” towards the end of games (double snicker). That sounds like a message targeting Smith, especially.

Here’s the thing about this quote, though: Smith’s not really wrong. He didn’t sign a three-year, $17.9 million deal with the Knicks this past summer because he’s a great on-the-ball defender. He did so becauase he can light it up off the bench. Or at least he could last season.

So while we can all laugh at silly J.R., it’s the responsibility of the whole Knicks team to buckle down and defend. J.R. is just doing J.R.

[New York Post; h/t: Mike Prada]

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