You’ll never believe this, but JR Smith’s New York Knicks teammates weren’t exactly thrilled to stand and watch him hoist up an NBA record 22 three-point attempts (while making 10 of them), in a nationally-televised 102-91 loss to the Miami Heat. Amar’e Stoudemire questioned the team’s offensive game plan. Per Newsday and the NY Post:
Amar’e Stoudemire was stunned that J.R. Smith took an NBA-record 22 three-pointers on Sunday. He had an even harder time believing the game plan wasn’t to get the ball inside more.
The Heat played a small lineup for much of its 102-91 victory over the Knicks. In the fourth quarter, Stoudemire scored inside on consecutive trips as the Knicks moved within seven. But those were the only two shots in the quarter for Stoudemire, who shot 5-for-9.
“We always preach that if you’re open, shoot it,” he said. “But a team that goes small, you got to somewhat take advantage of that . . . Opportunities like that you got to take advantage of, you got to make that guy play some defense out there, especially when he’s undersized and he’s guarding myself or Tyson [Chandler].”
As Smith set an NBA record with 22 3-point attempts, including 10 in the final period, Stoudemire felt the club blew an opportunity to go inside to him and take advantage of Miami’s small-ball lineup. Stoudemire finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He had only two shot attempts in the fourth quarter — making both.
The Knicks launched 42 3-pointers. To support Stoudemire’s argument, Chandler, too, was a beast inside in the first half, scoring all 10 of his points before going quiet.
Stoudemire has taken Smith to task before after the reigning Sixth Man of the Year questioned the team’s heart last month. Stoudemire said players should look in the mirror before making statements like that.
Coach Mike Woodson also critiqued Smith on Saturday for not feeding Stoudemire underneath in the final frantic seconds of Washington’s loss. Off a scramble with 2 seconds left, Smith snatched the ball and heaved a 3-pointer. But replays showed asking Smith to see Stoudemire with two defenders running at him was too much to ask.