Knicks coach Mike Woodson got his revenge on J.R. Smith for staging what appeared to be a shooting boycott in Boston. He benched him. Smith sat the final 14:40 Saturday night against the Hawks after going 1-of-8 from the field for two points in the Knicks’ 111-106 victory. Smith’s actions Friday night in Boston — when he took just one shot — appeared to be premeditated. One theory was the coaching staff had been getting on Smith for forcing too many shots, so he adapted, to the extreme. Or he staged a shooting boycott — which is a page out of Kobe Bryant’s book — to make a point. A report Saturday said Woodson had made a remark to Smith about his shot selection. Today is the first day Smith can be traded under NBA rules for players who signed as free agents. Before Saturday’s game, Woodson admonished Smith for his night in Boston, when he lofted one field goal attempt in 26 minutes. Smith admitted that was a first — and Woodson said it would be his last. Asked if Smith had told Woodson he was going into playmaking mode, the Knicks coach said: “No. No not at all. I need him to score and I think he knows that. He was our second-leading scorer last season [18.3 points per game] and we need him to score.” Smith had his answer prepared Friday when reporters surrounded his locker after the Boston game. “I was going into the game trying to make opportunities for my teammates to excel,’’ Smith said. “We need playmakers more than just scorers. My job is to get my teammates the easiest buckets we can and we’re not getting those.’’ Smith went on to add his strategy is subject to change. “It might be the right way, it might not be the right way, I don’t know,’’ he said. “Just trying to figure this out.’’ Against Atlanta, he took five shots in the first five minutes alone, making just one. Amar’e Stoudemire changed plans and decided to play Saturday against the Hawks in the second night of a back-to-back. It was his fourth game in five nights. With Kenyon Martin out indefinitely and the Knicks desperate for a win, Stoudemire couldn’t let this night slip.
J.R. Smith hits the bench after shooting ‘boycott’
New York Post | Dec 15