The New York Knicks may want to see if they can start playing their games with 2 basketballs instead of 1. Either that or they’ll have to score 140 points a game to make sure everyone gets the points they want.
The Knicks are adding shooting guard J.R. Smith to their roster which already includes Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and new sensation Jeremy Lin. Smith tweeted (@TheRealJRSmith) yesterday morning, “New York Knicks It Is!” and then confirmed everyone’s (redundant) questions on whether or not that meant he’d be playing in a Knicks jersey.
Smith, who had been playing over in China and had to wait for his team’s season to end, is a very talented player but has been known to have some attitude problems in the past. The question in New York is not going to be about his talent but whether or not he can fit into the new and improved Knicks’ system.
Mike D’Antoni has found a gem in Jeremy Lin, and Lin has already shown that he feels comfortable playing a true point guard. He’s had 24 assists in the last 2 games since Stoudemire came back. The Knicks are on a 7-game win streak and seem to have really found their stride. They’ve got a system that works.
We’re still waiting to see how Lin and another former Denver Nugget are going to play together when Carmelo Anthony comes back from injury. I think the Knicks should focus on getting Melo into the swing of things before they worry about Smith. They may be taking on more than they can handle in such a short amount of time.
In Denver, Smith seemed to have an “all about me” attitude a lot of the time. If he’s capable of realizing he’s the 5th or 6th best player on his team, and can fit into a role that goes with the system then he’ll be a great asset to the Knicks. If he wants to mess around and focus on getting his piece of the pie every night, and make sure he’s not an afterthought on the team, then there could be a few problems.
Smith should be joining the Knicks very soon. ESPN says he’ll be on the floor for the Knicks’ game against the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow. He’ll most likely be coming off the bench, and we’ll see how much he actually gets to play in his first game back to the NBA, but it sounds like the Knicks won’t be shy in making him part of the team.