Why J.R. Smith Re-Signing Was a Necessity for Knicks
Added by Steven Korn on August 31, 2013.
18.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists, two game-winning buzzer beaters, dozens of highlight-reel plays and the Sixth Man of the Year: All of those accolades, and many people still think bringing J.R. Smith back was the wrong decision (then again, those are probably the same people who wanted to pay Jeremy Lin $25 million). But, it was not the wrong decision to bring him back; it was the absolute right one.
There are a multitude of reasons the Knicks needed J.R. Smith back, and it is foolish to think otherwise. Smith was the reason the Knicks got to where they were last year and while many people, including myself, were very disappointed with his playoff performance, there is no denying what else he has done. The New Jersey native not only dominated off of the bench for the Knicks, but he played 80 games this year averaging 34 minutes a game. The two games Smith missed? They were the last two games of the regular season when the coaches wanted him to rest and didn’t let him play.
While playing 80 games is impressive in itself, after learning that he did it playing through an injury, makes it that much better. Smith is determined to win and wants to do it in New York. He recently said on twitter that anything less than a championship this upcoming season would be a failure and I believe him. Smith will be fully healthy and ready to go after his surgery (Smith recently had knee surgery and is expected to return around the start of the season) and should put up similar numbers to last season. He will certainly be motivated after going through what he had to go through during last year’s postseason. After an elbow to Jason Terry’s head, a suspension, a night out with Rihanna, and a few brutal games of basketball, it seemed as if everyone had forgotten everything else J.R. Smith did.
Although he comes with some off-court drama, I believe that if he produces on the court, then Knicks fans shouldn’t care. With the Nets doing whatever it takes to be the best team in New York, J.R. is going to be one of the key pieces to making sure that doesn’t happen.