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J.R. Smith tries to take blame for Knicks loss to Pacers

May 15, 2013, 10:28 AM EDT

J.R. Smith, Lance Stephenson AP

One man does not win or lose an NBA playoff series.

But J.R. Smith’s shooting woes — 7-of-22 in the Knicks Game 4 loss Tuesday night — are symptomatic of the Knicks problems in this series. Indiana is a good defensive team that has taken away the Knicks first option (Carmelo Anthony is not efficent right now) and nobody else is stepping up to help him. Not Iman Shumpert (0-for-6 Tuesday), not Tyson Chandler or Kenyon Martin inside, and Jason Kidd last made a field gold during the Nixon administration (actually it’s been just three weeks, but still).

But J.R. Smith is the poster child for the Knicks shooting woes, and after the Game 4 loss Smith told the New York Post he is to blame for the Knicks shooting woes.

“I take the blame for this whole series,” Smith said. “I’ve been letting my teammates down, I’ve been letting my coaches down, and it doesn’t feel good.”

In this series Smith is 18-of-64 (28.1 percent) and 6-of-26 from three. Ouch.

Credit the Pacers defense for some of this — they are long and physical and you don’t get easy looks against them. They have taken away the easy first and second options out of the Knicks offensive sets. During the regular season when the Knicks offense broke down Anthony or Smith could create their own look in isolation and bail the offense out. Go isolation against the Pacers and they destroy you.

But the Knicks also moved the ball strong to weak so much better in the season, especially during their win streak they shared the rock beautiffuly. But now even when Pablo Prigioni does that now, the shot gets missed.

And that’s not all on Smith. He’s part of a larger problem.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Don’t be silly JR. Everyone knows it’s the ref’s fault. But really it’s actualy biiger than the refs. It’s really the fault of David Stern and Adam Silver who clearly have conspired to make sure that no teams from NY or LA will be playing in the Conference Finals.

    Around NBA circles, it’s been well known that the league wants the Final Four to consist of Memphis, Indiana, Miami, and San Anotnio.

    So while we appreciate it JR, and we respect your wanting to be accountable, this was never about you.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 15, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      The “thumbs down” crowd does know I’m joking right?

    • philtration - May 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      As much as I disagree with 1972wasalongtimeago most of the time, I am pretty sure he was being sarcastic.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        I got the joke, so it’s nothing to me.

        But people need to realize the difference between calling out the refs — whether they benefit or are a detriment to a team — and blaming the refs for a loss.

        The reality is, Coach won’t sit him, Cope and Novak may be liabilities defensively, but they CAN put the ball in the hole. JR blew a WIDE OPEN, UNCONTESTED LAYUP. That should be enough to sit his ass for all of Game 5.

  2. eventhorizon04 - May 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    One man can never be fully to blame for a series defeat. It’s a team sport.

    That being said, a high volume shooter who is hitting under 30% of his attempts comes pretty close.

    • eventhorizon04 - May 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Overall though, there’s not only plenty of blame to spread around, but there’s also time to right the ship.

      The Pacers have an unusually large difference in how they play at home versus how they play on the road. It’s never favorable for a team to have to win 3 in a row, but the Knicks at least have 2 of them at home.

      Bench Kidd and give his minutes to Pablo Prigioni, never “Go Big” (Kenyon Martin is a backup center, not a power forward), bench JR if attacking the basket doesn’t appeal to him, feed Melo in a variety of spots (which they did early in the last game), more Novak and Copeland.

      Win or lose, the Knicks should play on their own terms and let the chips fall as they may.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Blame the defense Horizon. Cause’ thats your issue. In your face defense in which there are ZERO double teams. See Paul George..George Hill…Roy Hibbert…Lance Stephenson and David West. Then…see any backup come in and follow suite. Then…see team rebounding. Then…refer back to the defense. LOCK DOWN.

    • mrwrightsdad - May 15, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      At least we have to look back on, from last night:
      Recap: yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes, yes, no, no, yes, no, yes, no.

  3. miketoddryan - May 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Yes, the nba wants to keep its two biggest markets out, please go on.

  4. hungryhungryhibbert - May 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Ha ha, I love that people think that the nba wants the Indiana pacers in the eastern conference finals, ignorant douchy net Yorkers … We Pacers fan say the exact thing, except the NBA DOESN’T want the Pacers to succeed, it’s why they gave you p. Ewing back in the day, it’s why they even let the Knicks win a single game! The problem with the Knicks is that the playoffs are a different game all together and when your playing with an aging team of cast offs and old farts (Kidd, chandler, pagioni, and all those other farters) against young and upcoming stars you have no chance … Typical Knicks fan, blame the refs and the league, but hey don’t steal our slogan too BLUE COLLAR GOLDSWAGGER !

    • protectthishouse54 - May 15, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Your slogan sucks.

      • pacersfan1 - May 16, 2013 at 7:35 AM

        Like your mom.

  5. infectorman - May 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Great players make big plays in bigger games.
    JR? not so much. No game is bigger than the next now so he’s got a shot at a small measure of redemption….we’ll see how he fares.

    This “feels” like the end of the line tho

  6. ironyisadeadscene - May 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Funeral time

  7. davidly - May 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    It’s not his fault. It’s the 6th Man curse. Well, that and the P’s big D.

  8. stlouis1baseball - May 15, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Here’s an idea for you JR.
    Blame. The. Indiana. Pacers. Lock. Down. In. Your. Face. Defense.
    Lock down defense…and rebounding clinic. Ballgame.

  9. azarkhan - May 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    If the Spurs and Pacers meet in the finals, David Stern will be suicidal…which would be great! Go Spurs, go Pacers!

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