J.R. Smith is one of the NBA's most baffling figures.
At times, Smith is an explosive, impassioned scoring machine, capable of jaw-dropping offensive exploits that leave Madison Square Garden on the verge of pandemonium. At other times, however, Smith can be a black hole. He is the living embodiment of the "keep shooting" mentality, even to the point when he can single-handedly shoot the Knicks out of a game.
That being said, Smith will be an extremely important factor in dictating the Knicks' success this season. Aside from 'Melo, Smith is probably the Knicks' most prolific scorer. When he is hot, he has the ability to harness his intensity and turn it into buckets for New York.
Smith played as well as anyone in the NBA at the end of the 2012-2013 regular season. During the Knicks' last 18 games, Smith averaged 23.2 points per game while shooting 50% from the field. In the playoffs, however, his numbers dipped to 14.3 and 33.1% respectively, via NBA.com.
The Knicks will need J.R. Smith to stay on track this season if they hope to be a bonafide contender. Moreover, when and if the Knicks make the playoffs, they will rely on Smith for consistent, high-octane offensive production.