Early in the season, J.R. Smith drew comparisons to former Knicks' sixth man John Starks. Both provided sparks off the bench, and they could lead their team in scoring in a given game.
Both also could win or lose a game single-handedly, depending on whether they were on that day.
Consistency—or lack thereof—has been Smith's greatest obstacle. During one stretch in February, he scored six points in one game, 26 in the next and then immediately followed with a five-point performance.
Smith's field-goal percentage for January was an anemic .366, averaging 15.8 PPG. During that time, he had four 20-point games.
Since then, however, Smith has steadily improved.
His shooting percentage rose to .430 in February, to .442 in March and to .452 in April. In addition, he's averaging 21.25 PPG for March and April. He's also had six 30-point games in that span.
Continuing this level of play will not only catapult Smith into a higher echelon of NBA stars, it will send his team far into the playoffs.