The New York Knicks are struggling (they’ve lost three straight), they’re old and, naturally, injury-riddled. According to JR Smith, one additional problem facing the team is a lack of heart and effort. Per Newsday: “We got to check out our heart right now,’ he said. ‘We either got to compete or pack up and go home. It’s just that simple.’ The Knicks weren’t competitive in the first two games of this trip, losing by 29 at Golden State on Monday and by 23 in Denver on Wednesday. They hoped to break that trend Thursday night against the Trail Blazers despite being without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire and perhaps Tyson Chandler. [...] Smith’s left knee and shin have been bothering him, but he hasn’t missed a game. The Knicks, however, have taken some quarters off lately. They scored 12 points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth at Golden State. In Denver, they were outscored 33-16 in the second and trailed by 34 in the third. ‘I don’t mind losing,’ Smith said. ‘But if we just go out there and get demolished, that’s a problem, especially when you’re supposed to be considered one of the best teams in your division and your conference. It’s just not a good look for us.’”