The New York Knicks’ collective state of mind isn’t very good right now, as the team stumbles through a ton of early-season struggles. JR Smith told the press after last night’s crushing overtime loss at home to the Indiana Pacers, that he is in panic mode. Per ESPN: “The Knicks’ 103-96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday was the team’s sixth in a row at Madison Square Garden. ‘We’re frustrated,’ Smith said of where the team is mentally, despite most saying it’s too early to panic. ‘Like you say, it’s too early to panic, but me, personally, I’m panicking. I don’t like this. I don’t want to play 3-8 basketball,’ Smith continued, in regard to the Knicks’ record. ‘I don’t want to play 50-50 basketball. If we’re going to be a championship-caliber team and call ourselves that, then we’ve gotta play like that. It can’t be no other way.’ The Knicks played hard Wednesday and put forth the kind of effort that coach Mike Woodson wants to see on a regular basis. In several of their previous losses at home, the Knicks put forth lackluster effort and weren’t competitive at times. ‘I’m proud of how we competed,” Woodson said. ‘That’s something I hadn’t seen a lot this early season, and that was New York Knick basketball. Unfortunately we’re a little snake-bitten right now in terms of getting over the hump.’ The Knicks are 2-5 since losing Tyson Chandler to a fractured right fibula. Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 18 rebounds, and the Knicks led by three with 9.2 seconds left. But Iman Shumpert was called for a foul on a Paul George 3-point attempt, and George (35 points) made all three free throws to force overtime. The Knicks put forth effort Wednesday night, but it hasn’t always been there this season. And that has been frustrating for Smith. ‘Lack of intensity,’ Smith said. ‘I hate to say it, but our defense’s backbone is on Tyson, and Tyson’s not here right now. And we know that, and he’s not going to be available for a few weeks now, so we’ve gotta step it up individually. It’s a team game, but individually we’ve got to take pride in guarding the ball, guarding our man. We have to enjoy stopping the other team.'”
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