J.R. Smith is many different things. Unfortunately for him and the New York Knicks, clutch wasn’t one of them Thursday night. Filling in for Carmelo Anthony and looking every bit the elite scorer he can be from time-to-time, Smith dropped 36 points against Oklahoma City. But his would-be game-winner missed the mark, and New York fell 95-94 in Madison Square Garden.
Smith provided another one of those “holy shit, how is this guy not an All-Star” games that only he can really produce. Timely threes meshed with athletic drives to form the kind of all-around game that few in the NBA can reach. His missed final shot was a tough pill to swallow, but also defended very well by Russel Westbrook; it didn’t detract from the elite game that Smith had. If JR can keep the crazy at bay – or at least stay a bit more focused – the Knicks are a threat to the Heat and Pacers.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City continues to dominate. They are very good, and simply a joy to watch. Here’s a video of Kevin Durant being Kevin Durant.