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J.R. Smith says despite Nets’ offseason acquisitions, Knicks are New York’s marquee team

Aug 9, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York Reuters

When the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, there’s no question they wanted to cut into the Knicks’ fan base and market share in the nation’s largest media market.

The team’s billionaire owner has been spending money to bring star-level talent to immediately infuse the franchise, and on paper, it may seem as though the Nets are primed for a run next season that could possibly leave their New York counterparts in the dust.

Not so fast, says J.R. Smith.

Speaking at his charity golf tournament on Thursday, Smith was quick to shoot down the notion that the Nets are somehow more relevant than his Knicks, despite their offseason acquisitions.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

J.R. Smith, in his first remarks of the offseason and since left-knee surgery, still “hopes’’ to play opening night and claimed the Knicks are still the team of New York – no matter what the Brooklyn Nets did this summer.

“It’s an unbelievable move for JKidd to have a team like that to start off his first year,’’ Smith said at his charity golf tournament in Lakewood, N.J. “They have a great chance to compete for a title. But we’re still the marquee team in New York. A lot of people are counting us out just like last year . We have a lot to prove. We ‘ll come out with a lot of edge and hopefully put it to positive use on the court.’

As a reminder, the Knicks finished the regular season at second place in the Eastern Conference standings behind only the eventual champion Miami Heat.

What Smith is saying here isn’t really news, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise. But it’s 100 percent factual nonetheless.

Much like the Lakers and the Clippers in Los Angeles, one team is firmly embedded in the city’s consciousness as the favorite, and the other is a nice distraction for when it’s a down year for the more storied franchise.

In L.A., the Clippers would have to win five championships in a decade to even begin to chip away at the Lakers market share, and while the Knicks haven’t sniffed a title in decades, a similar act of dominance would need to take place for the Nets to overtake the Knicks as New York’s team of choice.

  1. 00maltliquor - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Can’t wait to see both teams face off, 100% healthy.

    • money2long - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      especially after the honey nut cheerios fiasco, KG finds himself in the same city as melo the following year. amazing.

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    What do you think the spread is gonna be for the 1st game, anyone?………………..(NYK vs. BKN of course)

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      At home, BK -7.5
      Away, BKN +1.5

      Just a guess.

  3. sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    I don’t see how the Knicks improved this off season.

    A few quick things for reference basketball fans…

    A few notable team shooting rankings last season.

    The Heat were the best in team shooting % last season.

    The Spurs and the Thunder were both tied for having the 2nd best team shooting percentage last yr.

    The Knicks were the 18th best team as far as team shooting percentages go.

    Both Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace are not good shooters and they will both bring the Knicks down further in this area.

    Some info on this for you all.

    On the all time list of true shooting percentage leaders in NBA history, here are some notable current Knicks players:

    Carmelo Anthony is currently in 199th place all time.
    J.R. Smith is currently in 235th place all time.

    Both Bargnani and World Peace are below the top 250 which is where basketball reference dot com quits there list of all time true shooting percentage leaders.

    All of the “stars” like Kobe who is the next lowest of the big names at 130th place are all much higher than Melo. Kobe, Durant, LeBron, Chris Paul and many others like Nash (13th place all time), Ginobili (30th all time), Kevin Martin (20th all time), MJ, Bird, Magic (9th all time), Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen (48th all time) and many others are all much higher than Melo. Bird is currently in 90th place all time and only Kobe and Melo are worse than 100th place and Melo only takes the last place in the 100’s at 199th place.

    The top 3 shooting teams all did well last yr, #1 and #2 were in the finals and the other #2 might have been if not for Westbrook’s injury. Either way those were the best shooting teams in the NBA last season and they all did well.

    The Knicks were the 18th best shooting team and adding Bargnani and World Peace isn’t going to help them at all.

    I mean Metta’s played 14 seasons already, he is who he is. And in EACH of Metta’s last 5 seasons, his FG% has been BELOW his already very low career FG% average so one shouldn’t expect much from him in the way of his shooting percentage.

    Bargnani has played 7 seasons. His FG% for the past 2 yrs have both been below his career percentage too and his last 3 seasons his true shooting percentage has been below his career true shooting percentage average. One could expect him to improve some as he’s only 27 yrs old right now and now and then next yr or two will be his prime… But I don’t see a huge increase

    • longtallsam - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:38 AM

      I didn’t think that rambling post would ever end!

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        It’s OK, there are still some in this country who have an attention span and are able to read more than just a blurb.

        When I ramble, I use facts and I don’t just say so and so sucks or say why a team is great and only offer my opinions as opinions are like A$$holes, we all have them…

        All I spoke of above was about facts, about shooting and the Knicks got worse, not better.

      • dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        lol a hateful elaboration

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Dear dysraw1,

        Please point out a quote from my elaboration that shows or demonstrated hate.

        Thank you.

    • onlyavoice - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      That Just Means More Ball Time For Melo

    • mdobrasz - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM


      You have WAY too much time on your hands to research and post all of that worthless statistical nonsense. If every player went out and hit their averages every night, there would be no reason to play the game. We would just look at the schedule, add up all the averages and call the game before even touching the ball. Averages can swing wildly for any number of players from year to year.

    • joehadenisland - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      I quit reading after you said stars and then saw Kevin Martin listed.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM


        I said “All of the “stars” like Kobe who is the next lowest of the big names at 130th place are all much higher than Melo.”

        Then I listed others and their true shooting percentages. I didn’t just break out stars… I was trying to show how even some others that aren’t great are better than Melo when it comes to shooting.

        The stars would be guys like LeBron, Durant, Kobe, Chris Paul… Melo isn’t at their level…

    • majorhavoc83 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      Last I checked, basketball is played on the court, not on a piece of paper with a bunch of stats.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Thanks for the info, we all know that. But when GM’s and others are trying to improve their teams, they do look at stats and what the player currently makes and factor that in so they know approximately what kind of production they will bring to their team…

        The Knicks don’t shoot well and they haven’t helped them this off season in that regard…

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Excellent analysis sportsfan.

    • dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      dude your whole point here is that my team is weak. i on the contrary think this could be a magical year. sure on the other hand things could wrong, if i was to think like you i would believe the knicks are going nowhere. me im hoping STAT can stay on floor, an that we can get a little Benosanity going

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        The Knicks have talent and did many things well last yr. The GM and others are trying to improve their team for the next season.

        Two things the Knicks were great at last yr were hardly turning the ball over as they averaged the fewest turnovers per game last season as a team. They scored the 3rd most points per possession.

        So what are some things that management could or should have tried to improve on the team coming into this yr for you and other Knick fans?

        Well they didn’t shoot well as a team last yr. Imagine who many points per possession they could have scored/averaged had they shot the ball a bit better.

        Put it this way, they have much more room to improve as a team in shooting percentage than they do in committing fewer turnovers.

        Losing Copeland and Novak for Bargnani and Metta isn’t going to help them shoot the ball better as a team. They will average fewer points per possession now as a team and most likely will even shoot worse as a team this coming yr too…

        With the Pacers being good and improving their team, the Nets are improved and the Bulls get D. Rose back, well the Knicks aren’t going to be the #2 seed in the East this yr again mainly because those running the team didn’t improve upon what they had from last yr.

        That isn’t the fault of the players as they play with whomever management brings to the team…

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Since you seem to be into advanced stats, try this one on for size. The Knicks were 3rd in offensive points per possession in 2012-2013 behind the Heat and the Thunder. That means a lot more to me than team shooting %. Also: I hate the Knicks but I love a good statistic. Check out Hoopdata some time.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        Thanks, I know where they stand last yr with respect to that… Imagine if they shot the ball just a bit better… because you know that would increase their points per possession even more.

        Since you said that means a lot more to you than their team shooting %, what are some ways they could improve their points per possession? I mean Knicks fans must want them to improve. To go farther in the postseason.

        The Knicks didn’t turn the ball over that much and that helps a team get more points per possession. As a matter of fact, the Knicks were the best team in the league last yr as they averaged the fewest turnovers per game as a team.

        Of course the best way to get more points per possession is to put the ball in the basket at a higher clip and well the Knicks have much more room for improvement in this regards as they don’t shoot well as a team… especially since they are already one of the best teams in the league at not turning the ball over.

        This article was about J.R. saying the Knicks are still good, the marquee team in NYC. I was simply pointing out that the off season moves by the Knicks aren’t going to help them.

        Since being 3rd in the league in points per possession is important to you, do you think they’ll remain in this position this yr? I don’t see how they will when they won’t shoot better than they did last yr and well they can’t really average fewer turnovers per game (yes it’s possible but well turnovers are a part of the game).

        I like Hoopdate, 82games dot com and basketball reference dot com for stats…

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      In response to your response; I agree that the Knicks won’t be any better this season. I think they’ll probably get worse. I can’t stand Bargnani; he does everything at a below average level. Everything. But I have to give the Knicks some credit because very early in the season and very late in the season they looked unstoppable. If they can somehow recapture that by moving the ball like they did with a super high assist-to-turnover ratio… they could possibly make the Finals. But it might be a super tough east conference this year.

  4. cantonbound13 - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Last year all the “experts” had Brooklyn finishing ahead of the Knicks. How’d that turn out?

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      You had the Knicks finishing ahead of the Pacers and the 2 time defending champion Heat. How’s that turn out?

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        Eff you in advance, contraction police.

      • cantonbound13 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Why so much hate & bitterness? FYI I was talking about the regular season. If I remember correctly, the Knicks did finish ahead of the Pacers in the regular season. If you actually followed my posts, instead of making up things, you will see that after game 1 I admitted the Pacers were the better team. The NBA is all about matchups. I still believe the Knicks, when healthy, matchup very well against the Heat. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to play them as they had a tougher road in the playoffs than your lucky team did. You won’t admit it but if Tony Parker & Kawai Leonard just make 1 freethrow down the stretch of game 6, your team would have lost yet another Finals series. You had probably already stopped watching at that point being the bandwagon fan that you are & have no idea what I’m talking about.

  5. mdobrasz - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    NY got younger and better this offseason. The Nets got older and slower. Period.

  6. nokoolaidcowboy - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Biggest problem for the Knicks is that Carmelo is set in his ways and it is his team. Spread the ball more on the floor and talk to each other.

    • money2long - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      carmelo gets a bad rap for being good at scoring . he is a very intelligent baller. coach K wouldn’t continue to enjoy his services if he was simply a black hole like the masses like to illustrate he is. coach k isn’t an idiot. melo knows how to use his talents as well as appreciate his teammates. watch more knicks games, less boxscores, you’ll get the picture.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        Carmelo’s got what it takes to be a champion, but so did Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

    • cantonbound13 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      It’s not Melo, that’s Woodson’s aweful offensive scheme. He did the same thing in Atlanta with Joe Johnson.

  7. demo3356 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    I think the Knicks are improved significantly. They added Bargnani, MWP, Hardaway Jr and Udrich and only lost Copeland, Novack and washed up Kidd & Camby.
    Felton, Prigs, Udrich
    Shump. JR, Hardaway
    Mello, MWP
    Bargs Stat
    Chandler, KMart
    That is a very solid 12 deep and has a little bit of everything. Its up to Woodson to make the pieces all fit

  8. papichulo55 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    It’s been 40 years since the city of New York, the mecca of basketball, has celebrated an NBA Championship. At this point, I dont care which team gets a Ring, as long as it happens now!

  9. dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    me i love BK, root for them 78 games of regular season the only time i don’t want them to win is against the orange & blue.

    • majorhavoc83 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Spot on. I was born in Brooklyn, lived in Brooklyn, when to school in Brooklyn, but when it comes to basketball, it’s NYK #1 and BKN #2.

      • dysraw1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        since they was playing out at the collsium

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