New York Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith has re-established himself as a bench player in the second round of the playoffs thanks to shooting 28-percent from the floor and 23-percent from three-point range.
"J.R. did a lot of great things for us during the regular season and there were times I thought maybe he should be in the game right from the opening tip as a starter," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "But now I am positive he is a bench player. In fact, he's the kind of player I'd like to have as a twelfth man."
In addition to missing almost every shot he takes, Smith has also come off the bench to provide the Knicks with turnovers, fouls and mental mistakes.
"I just try to fill up the stat sheet any way I can," said Smith. "I have to make the best of the limited opportunities I have to play. Especially now because I feel like my opportunities to play are going to become increasingly limited."
Knicks center Tyson Chandler says he has noticed maturity in Smith's play.
"He won the Sixth Man of the Year award and has been a starter earlier in his career," said Chandler. "A lot of guys in his position might try to take that as an opportunity to become a starter again. But, no. He's only further cast himself as a bench player. A deep bench player. Have to respect that."
But Carmelo Anthony says he still believes Smith can be a starter in the NBA.
"His shooting percentage looks pretty good to me, and I'm a superstar," said Anthony.