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Coming into the 2012-13 season, it's looking like New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith will get an opportunity to be a regular starter for the first time since his rookie season.
With top competitor Ronnie Brewer battling injuries, and incumbent Iman Shumpert not expected back until sometime in 2013 with a knee injury, the depth chart looks wide open.
According to what Smith told the New York Post's Marc Berman, that opportunity to start might be coming at a perfect time, as the guard has grown tired of his bench-scorer label.
It gets frustrating after a while. People saying, "he’s a sixth man, sixth man, sixth man" when you believe you’re a starter. But you have to understand, it’s a team game and have to put individual goals aside.
From Smith's perspective, you have to understand his frustrations. No one denies his talent; however, his inconsistencies have relegated him to a permanent bench role.
If coach Mike Woodson winds up giving Smith the starting nod, it will certainly be interesting to see what he does with it. Free agency looms for the 27-year-old sharpshooter, so a huge season could net a pretty hefty contract.