It's been a rough week for Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith.
On April 28 against the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks guard threw an elbow to the head of C's elder statesman Jason Terry, resulting in a one-game suspension. Upon his return, Smith shot a combined 30 percent in Games 5 and 6.
Splashed in between his suspension and the Knicks' Game 5 loss where Smith started the game 0-for-10 shooting was a report from Charged.fm that explained his horrid shooting night. The article includes photos and video of the Knicks' second-leading scorer, bottle in hand, partying away any worries that may have been brought on by his team's Game 4 defeat in Boston.
Smith's pregame preparation for Game 5 looked something like this:
Eerily similar reports popped up again on the eve of New York's Game 1 matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Sunday at MSG. According to a few tweets, Smith decided to catch the Floyd Mayweather fight at a not-so-subtle location.
J.R. Smith is at the 40/40 club watching the Mayweather fight. Reminder: the Knicks have an afternoon game tomorrow, @therealjrsmith.— Jonah Kaner (@TheKnicksWall) May 5, 2013
Unfortunately, we don't have snapshots or video footage of Swish at 40/40. He very well may have just been enjoying the fight and the company of his peers, but because this is New York, it's a breaking news story.
What we do know for sure, however, is that J.R. hasn't even looked close to his late-season form that secured him the Sixth Man title. Over the last 15 games of the season, Smith posted a field-goal percentage over 50 percent and averaged nearly 24 points per game.
His Game 1 performance against Indy left much to be desired again. In 34 minutes, Smith shot just 4-of-15 and 2-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Whether his extracurricular activities are at fault or not is something only J.R. knows. But after falling behind a game in the series to the Pacers, Smith felt it necessary to clear up the rumors.
First an for most I wasn't clubbing before the game so y'all can kill that. Don't try an find reasons when I miss shots! #HopOff— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) May 5, 2013
You hear that, Knicks fans? #HopOff J.R.
The fun didn't end there, though, as the @teamswish Instagram handle gave fans one last piece of advice. If you have negative comments for Earl, don't even bother bringing them to his attention. You're just a bandwagoner.
Apparently, Smith's feelings are hurt after receiving backlash during a recent 12-of-42 run and shooting the Knicks out of a comeback in the closing minutes of Sunday's Game 1.
Nonsense aside, Smith is aware he needs to play better for the Knicks to stand a chance at rallying in this series. Every Knicks fan knows they wouldn't care less about Smith's antics if that field-goal percentage was about 20 points higher.
Here's some advice for J.R.: Play like you were playing at the end of the regular season. It's what earned you your hardware. And when those jumpers start falling, nobody will have anything to say about your postgame plans.
Edit (10:01 a.m. ET): J.R. has posted a follow-up photo the morning after—a collage of his tenure in the No. 8 Knicks jersey. The caption?
"#greatmorningworld #newday #moveon."
It's okay, J.R. Now please, knock down those Js.
Follow me on Twitter at @JSDorn6.