Magic Johnson cautioned J.R. Smith to curtail his partying ways for the benefit of the Knicks, saying that going out the night before a playoff game is a "no-no." "J.R., you cannot hang out before an afternoon game," said Johnson, the ABC/ESPN analyst said on Friday. "That's a no-no. He better be listening because right now he's averaging 13 points, only shooting 26% from the field and then only 29% from the three-point line. "If the Knicks have a chance to advance, they need J.R. Smith to play better. You have to know when to hang out and when not to. Right now, it's the playoffs." Smith missed Saturday's morning practice with an undisclosed illness and was listed as questionable for Game 3. Last week, Smith denied, via Twitter, of "clubbing" late Saturday in advance of Game 1 on Sunday which began at 3:30 p.m. Following the Knicks' Game 2 victory on Tuesday, Smith was spotted at a Manhattan night club with singer Rihanna. Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, has come under fire for his subpar play in the postseason which began when Smith was suspended for Game 4 against the Boston Celtics in the first round for elbowing Jason Terry. The Knicks entered Game 3 on Saturday having lost three of their last five games including splitting two home games against the Indiana Pacers. Smith is shooting 7 for 30 in the conference semifinals including 3 for 13 on 3-pointers. "I'd like to think J.R. is a tough kid," Mike Woodson said. "You gotta have thick skin. Granted, in New York you have to have thick skin. If he's going to get through it and help us he's gotta block a lot of those things out and get himself back to playing J.R. basketball because we're going to need that." Woodson has been Smith's greatest supporter but at times his harshest critic. It was Woodson who memorably told Smith last season to pull up his sagging pants. Woodson also admitted that he's spoken to Smith to his reputation as a partier. Coincidentally, Smith said last October that he was making an effort to go out less and focus his attention on basketball. When asked about Magic's comments, Woodson said of Smith: "He's been great all year in terms of doing things the right way on and off the floor. And I don't want that to stop and it's my job to make sure it doesn't stop because it benefits us all when he's playing good basketball for us.
Magic Johnson advises Knicks' J.R. Smith to curb his partying ways
New York Daily News | May 12