[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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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] Shump the Closer — Knicks 92, Mavs 80

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It’s not the 3-0 Texas sweep it should have been, but we’ll take it. The Knicks came out with the same fire they showed earlier this week against the Rockets, but made better decisions down the stretch to pull out a 92-80 victory over the Mavericks, making it a 2-1 trip to the Lone Star state with an additional win over San Antonio.

MELO STARTS IT, SHUMP ENDS IT: Carmelo Anthony came out on fire in the first quarter, scoring 15 of his 19 points. The Mavs looked lethargic and the Knicks took full advantage on offense and defense, outscoring Dallas 29-17 and holding their shooting under 40%.

In the final minutes of the fourth with the Mavs down just six points, Iman Shumpert scored seven points in the remaining two minutes to ice the game, including a fearless layup drive around Dirk Nowitzki. His stat sheet will only show 9 points, but they were the most impactful of the game (along with his three steals, one coming late in the third to stifle a Mavs run). Defense wins games, and with Shumpert refocused in that area, there is absolutely no reason to not have him on the court during crunch time.

K-MART GETS NY THROUGH SCORING DROUGHT: Down 52-35 at halftime, the Mavs made a strong push in the third while the Knicks went ice-cold on offense. Vince Carter, Jose Calderon, and Monta Ellis all nailed treys to help get the lead in single digits. However, Kenyon Martin had one of his better games of the season, scoring the majority of his 14 points in the third quarter to allow the Knicks to maintain a 10-point lead (67-57) going into the fourth.

STOP THE JR SMITH LOVE AFFAIR, WOODY: I’m on record as giving JR until the All-Star break to get it together. Nonetheless, that doens’t mean play him when it’s a detriment to the team. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 10 points, including a crucial three-point play in the third. He provided good minutes early in the fourth before getting pulled for JR, who immediately had issues not turning the ball over and leaving Mavs guards open on the perimeter. If it wasn’t for Shumpert, the Mavs might have stolen this one.

JR did at least provide one hilarious moment during the game.

NOW DO IT AT HOME: The Knicks have been a decent road team and horrible at home. For the rest of the month, 10 of the 13 games NY plays will be at home. This will likely be the period that makes or breaks our playoff hopes considering the majority of the opponents have sub-.500 records.

Questionable Calls and Bad Perimeter D: Mavs 3pt Shooting Lifts Them Over Knicks 114-111

Hopefully the Knicks had a nice Thanksgiving to erase the sour taste of a bitter 114-111 defeat to the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday night.

Even without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs are still dangerous due to OJ Mayo, who’s been one of the deadliest shooters in the NBA thus far, leading the league in three-point shooting. What was not foreseen is giving up 25 points off the bench to the ghost of Vince Carter and getting slack on our defense to the tune of giving  up 30 in the 4th quarter and allowing the Mavs to hit 4-6 from downtown (they shot 13-29 from three for the game).

Like the game against the Hornets, we jumped out to a 10 point lead by the second quarter only to let the Mavs go crazy behind the arc (Carter, Troy Murphy, Shawn Marion and OJ Mayo). Still, NY closed the quarter strong behind some good steals from Jason Kidd and aggressive inside play from Tyson Chandler to have a 54-49 lead at halftime.

The second half of the game was tough to watch. After an even battle for much of the third, JR Smith started to become a liability on defense; OJ Mayo was burning him for layups and 3s. Vince Carter had a good time at JR’s expense too, knocking down a few 3s. Even Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder got in on the 3-point barrage, and before you knew it the quarter had ended with the Mavs outscoring the Knicks 35-26.

The Knicks fell behind by as much as 12 points in the fourth. Carmelo Anthony had a very tough night and not just from the hard defense Marion put on him. Melo got hit with several tough offensive calls. And even though he had a season-high 7 turnovers, a few of them could have been called loose ball fouls (Melo was hit hard in the face on one). Even so, Melo managed to chip in 23 points, and Tyson Chandler had 21, fueled by a key 3-point play that helped the Knicks  get within four (101-105) late in the fourth. We never folded, but we gave up too many 3s, committed too many shooting fouls and let the corpse of Vince Carter drop way too points off the bench to pull this one out.

Knicks fans can take a little solace in the fact that despite our bad play perimeter defense, we were within just a point (111-112) with the ball in Melo’s hands for the potential game-winning jumper that missed.

We can take out any remaining frustration tonight on our old friend Jeremy Lin in Houston. You know damn well Raymond Felton will be up for that game.