JR Smith Confident Heading into Game 5

Now that JR Smith and Mike Woodson appear finished trying to take the blame for the New York Knicks’ woes, Smith says that despite his struggles against the Indiana Pacers, he feels confident with a do-or-die Game 5 looming. Per the NY Post: “In Tuesday’s Game 4 loss to the Pacers, a defeat that dropped the Knicks in a 3-1 series hole, Smith began the night by clanging 13 of his first 16 shots before finishing 7-for-22. ‘I take the blame for this whole series,’ he said after the game. ‘Because I haven’t played the basketball that I’m accustomed to,’ Smith explained yesterday. ‘I haven’t been playing — you can get to the basket, get to the free throw line, making shots, making a conscious effort to rebound and do all the things I’m supposed to do as the quote-unquote ‘sixth man’ but the player that my teammates need me to be.’ Smith said his confidence remains strong and said his teammates told him ‘to keep [his] head up, keep playing.’ He even convened with former Knicks gunner John Starks, who now works for the club. Starks knows something about coming up small at the most inopportune time. When the Knicks’ 1994 season was on the brink in the NBA Finals, Starks shot a memorable 2-for-18 in a Game 7 loss to the Rockets. ‘I’m sure he’s had conversations with him,’ coach Mike Woodson said. ‘We all talk to J.R.’ If the Knicks lose tonight to end their season, it’s possible it could be Smith’s last game with the team. He can opt out of his contract this summer.”