[Video] Rest Easy, NBA Shoelaces: JR Smith Fined $50K for Unsportsmanlike Conduct

This is unacceptable. It’s just got to stop. – MIKE WOODSON

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JR Smith’s reign of terror on the shoelaces of fellow NBA players has come to end with the league announcement of a $50,000 fine for what the NBA has termed as “repeated unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The fine came down after footage from last night’s win over the Detroit Pistons exposed Smith attempting to untie the laces of Greg Monroe while at the free throw line. This was the third time Smith has been caught in camera doing this. It was previous done against the Maverick’s Shawn Marion and the Rockets’ Dwight Howard.

Prior to last night’s game, Knicks coach Mike Woodson declared that Smith’s behavior had no place in basketball. Smith revealedon Twitter that he usually does the shoelace trick at least once a game.

At press time, Smith has not commented on the fine.

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[youtube http://youtu.be/qy-H7FdV8ek]

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JR is going to learn one day that his reputation precedes him and not in a good way. After missing the first five games of the season due to a drug suspension, you’d think he’d be more careful in how he carries himself. D-Wade got away with a lot worse against the Knicks a few years back in the playoffs and that’s only because he doesn’t have a rep for involving himself in nonsense (at least on the court). And it didn’t help Smith any that Rod Thorn, the NBA Director of Operations, was in attendance last night.

If you already don’t like JR, you’ll use this as just another example of how he’s a detriment to the team. For me, an untied shoelace is the least of my worries. If anything, his play so far this year justifies few fines. Still, I’m maintaining my All-Star break deadline for him to get it together. I also haven’t forgotten Woody’s early season proclamation that the off-season knee-surgery will take JR most of the season to bounce back from. In the meantime, Woody needs to put some backbone behind his words and sit JR when his actual play becomes a liability.

[Video] Choke Averted — Knicks 89, Pistons 85

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A win is a win, but last night’s game unnecessarily went down to the wire after the Knicks blew an early 15-point 4th quarter lead and had to rely on Melo free throws (and the ever-present bad Josh Smith jumpshot) to pull out a 89-85 victory at MSG.

2 BAD, 2 GOOD: Why did this game turn out to be so difficult? It’s hard to cruise to a win when your play right down the middle between horrible and great. The Knicks put together a very good first and third quarter, where they outscored Detroit 24-21 and 32-17, respectively. The second and fourth quarters saw them shooting under 35% and get outscored 20-17 and 27-16.

A THIRD THAT SHOULD HAVE ENDED MATTERS: After settling for a 41 tie at halftime, the Knicks blew open the game behind three consecutive treys from Carmelo Anthony to push the lead to 58-49. The rest of the team fed off that energy and became terrors in the passing lanes and on double teams to force seven turnovers (the majority of them on Josh Smith) that lead to repeated fast breaks, including a Shumpert three-point play on Greg Monroe. It turned out to be a 25-3 run that gave NY a 73-58 lead going into the fourth. That should have been the last we saw of the starters.

JR SMITH THE CATALYST: Knick fans have come to expect trouble when we see JR starting the fourth. He made several bad passes that lead to turnovers, and the Pistons began to creep back by getting to the foul line. JR had a few iso plays that went nowhere as well. Instead of getting benched, JR continued to get crucial fourth quarter minutes that did the team no favors. In his 30 minutes, JR contributed 6 points (2/6 shooting) and 2 assists. He also got some boos when introduced and very audible groans when he touched the ball in crunch time.

FELTON NEARLY BLOWS HIS SOLID RETURN: For most of the game, Raymond Felton played well in his return (12 points, 6 assists). He moved the ball and his jumper was working off pick n’ rolls. The big problems happened late in the fourth when he coughed off the ball on back to back possessions. They were the result of bad concentration — Jennings picked his pocket close to halfcourt, and Felton got stripped driving right into heavy traffic. On top of that, he missed a second free throw that would have iced the game. Thankfully, Melo got a key offensive rebound to save the day.

MELO VS. J-SMOOVE: Melo (34 points) and Josh Smith (21 points) were battling all night, with Melo getting the better of it most of the evening. However, Smith made a strong push late in the fourth to get the Pistons back in it and got a key offensive foul on Melo with less than 30 seconds remaining and 86-85. Smith then blundered with this airball jumper.

The funniest thing about this clip was Melo feeling mighty proud like he blocked the shot.

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS: Despite the game being uneven from a playing standpoint, the Knicks were able to gut this out due to varied team contributions. Andrea Bargnani cooled after a fast shooting start, but had a double double (13 points, 11 rebounds). Stoudemire got abused a lot by Detroit’s formidable frontcourt, but still managed to drop 9 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes. Shumpert only scored 5 points, but also had 6 rebounds and 5 assists in addition to being the main defensive spark in the third quarter run.

The Knicks got the win, but they’ll need to regain their Texas trip form if they have any hope of being the Miami Heat Thursday night.

The Chucking Chronicles: JR Smith Speaks on His 17 3-Pt Attempts Against Bucks

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The Knicks held on for a double overtime win Wednesday night in Milwaukee, largely in part due to a late jumper from JR Smith. While that play sealed it, the most eye-catching stat of the night among JR’s 23 shot attempts was an astounding 5-17 from downtown. To say our streaky shooting guard was gunning is an understatement. Below is what JR had to say about his shooting and what Knicks fans can expect in future games.

Long as NY wins, JR can shoot at his heart’s content.

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