Mike Woodson said plenty when he kept J.R. Smith on the bench Thursday night, but he wouldn't say much about it after the Knicks beat the Heat. It was the Knicks' biggest win of the season, and Woodson apparently thought benching Smith sent a loud and clear message. The Knicks have won a season-high three games in a row and four of five, beating both of last season's NBA Finals participants, the Spurs and Heat. But Smith is getting much of the attention. "He would drive Dr. Phil nuts," notorious Knicks antagonist Charles Barkley said during TNT's telecast of Knicks-Heat. Barkley's studio partner, Shaquille O'Neal, was even more direct and cutting: "Right now, J.R. Smith is an unmanageable character who isn't putting in the work." The NBA fined Smith $50,000 Wednesday for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" after Smith untied or tried to untie an opponent's sneaker during a free-throw attempt in three straight games. (It turns out that even before the incidents with the Mavericks' Shawn Marion on Sunday -- which drew a warning from the NBA -- and the Pistons' Greg Monroe on Tuesday, he had done it to the Rockets' Dwight Howard on Jan. 3.) The Players Association is considering appealing Smith's fine.
Mike Woodson not saying if J.R. Smith will remain on the pine
Newsday | Jan 11