By signing with the Knicks, he’ll take on more of a supporting role, due to the emergence of Jeremy Lin. If Smith is able to adapt in his approach and play within the Knicks‘ team set, he could become the role player New York needs.
Smith must begin this approach mentally. He won’t be coming into New York as the man.
In fact, he’ll at least be fourth behind Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. This doesn’t mean he cannot fit into the picture though.
He must accept his supporting role and mesh into the team. If he has attitude problems early on, he could see the opportunities he would have received fall by the wayside right away.
From there, he needs to take advantage of his chances when he receives them. Smith can be a potent perimeter player and the Knicks could use someone of his caliber to knock down big shots in games.
While Lin has been lighting it up as of late, his hot streak won’t last forever and this is where Smith can fill in well.
With the possibility of either him or Lin knocking down perimeter shots, it’s going to create a lot of pressure on opponents to guard the back-court. Moreover, with Jeremy’s ability to control the ball and move it around well, it will give Smith plenty of opportunities to shine.
Ultimately, if J.R. can come in and adapt to a team that is evolving, he’ll find a comfortable role where he can make a difference on a playoff team in need of more experience at the guard position.