George Karl Butting Heads With J.R. Smith, Again

Nothing to be alarmed about, it’s just the annual flare-up between Smith and his coach taking place. The Denver Post reports: “Karl wants better play and more professionalism from Smith. Smith wants the chance to show it on the court. Karl, however, is the gatekeeper, and he’s not letting Smith on the court if he doesn’t start doing what the coach wants. Smith has played just one minute, five seconds in the past two games. Monday night at Phoenix, Karl benched Smith because he was late to a shootaround. His one minute Tuesday in the Nuggets’ victory against the Knicks smacked of further punishment, but was due more to rookie Gary Forbes playing well. ‘I think J.R. knows exactly where we’re at,’ Karl said Wednesday. ‘I think right now, it’s J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what’s going on. I’ve got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don’t have minutes to share.’ Not helping Smith’s case is the fact he hasn’t found a consistent scoring touch from the field. He’s shooting just 36.8 percent from the field, which is odd given the fact that he’s shooting well from the 3-point line, 40.7 percent. His average of 8.6 points this season is well off of his average of 15.3 points over the previous two seasons. Karl wants fewer poor decisions from Smith on the court, who, to his credit, has also had some good moments such as the five steals that sparked a Nuggets win at Dallas.”