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It wasn't all his fault, but Smith reverted back to some bad habits in the playoffs.
Free Agency Status: Player Option
At the end of this season, J.R. Smith seemed to have a mini epiphany concerning shot selection.
Smith has always shown a liking for step-back jumpers from mid-range, but in the last two months of the regular season, all of that changed. Suddenly, Smith started taking defenders off the dribble, getting to the rim and being a general nightmare to defend.
It was an amazing—and welcome—change. Smith took a whopping 35 percent of his shots at the rim (making 62 percent of them), and got to the line nearly six times per game (via NBA com).
Smith's always been one of the best athletes in the game, and when he's actively attacking the basket, the New York Knicks are extremely tough to beat. Not a lot of defenses are equipped to handle stuff like this. It was pretty much every Knicks fan's dream come true.
Unfortunately, things went south for Smith in the playoffs. And no, it was not because he had the flu.
Facing two tough defenses in the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers, Smith stopped attacking the basket and getting to the line (just four free throws per game in the postseason) and started heaving up those good old mid-range jumpers. Not so coincidentally, he shot just 33 percent in the playoffs, and the Knicks went home early.
To be fair to Smith, the Pacers in particular are murderous defensively, and he wasn't getting much when he drove to the basket anyways. Smith shot under 50 percent at the rim in the playoffs, in part because Indiana was funneling every ball-handler towards Roy Hibbert (per NBA.com).
But at the same time, Smith did nothing to assure teams that his old shot-selection problems are fixed. That could end up costing him a few million if he chooses to opt out of his current deal.