J.R. Smith: Blame me for Knicks being down 3-1 to Pacers
INDIANAPOLIS - J.R. Smith is taking responsibility for the Knicks' 3-1 hole.
"My frustration level with myself is extremely high," he said. "I take the blame for this whole series . . . I haven't been playing my part. I've been letting my teammates down. I've been letting my coaches down. It doesn't feel good."
Smith, who has been fighting a virus the past two games, said he needs to be better for the Knicks to bring series back to Indiana for Game 6.
He is 18-for-64 overall and 26-for-91 in the six games he's played since returning from a one-game suspension for elbowing Boston guard Jason Terry. "For me, it's been ongoing," he said. "I haven't shot the ball well since Game 3 Boston.
"I have to play more efficient. I have to rebound the ball. One rebound, two rebounds is not enough. Paul George is out there getting 13, 14 rebounds. As a wing player like myself, I'm pretty much playing the same minutes. It's unacceptable. I have to keep him off the glass. I have to keep the other wings off the glass. Overall just play better."
The Knicks flew in their orthopedic surgeon from New York to examine Iman Shumpert's surgically repaired left knee after he complained of soreness and swelling from a couple of awkward falls in Game 3 Saturday.
An MRI revealed no structural damage, but the swelling is still there. He played Tuesday night, but was 0-for-6 and scoreless in 16 minutes. He spent much of the game on the bench with his knee heavily wrapped.
Mike Woodson went big, starting Kenyon Martin instead of Pablo Prigioni, who played 3:26. The Knicks are 20-6, playoffs included, when Prigioni starts. Woodson gave no real explanation why Prigioni played so little.
"I'm not going to sit and explain," he said. "Right now I'm reaching trying to find combinations that will to work."
Prigioni may have been more effective than Jason Kidd. He extended his scoreless streak to eight games, and is 0-for-16 in that time.
Woodson could look to shooters Chris Copeland or Steve Novak with the Knicks' offense struggling. The two were a combined 3-for-4 from three, while the rest of the team was 5-of-24.