J.R. Smith fined $5,000 for Game 1 flop

J.R. Smith looks on in the first quarter

J.R. Smith looks on in the first quarter of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. (May 5, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

Not only can J.R. Smith not shoot well, he apparently can't act well, either.

The NBA announced Friday that it was fining the Knicks' slumping sharpshooter $5,000 for his fourth-quarter flop in Game 1 of the Knicks-Pacers series.

The flop occurred when Smith was guarding Indiana's Lance Stephenson and ran into a screen set by David West. After Smith tumbled to the floor, referees ruled it an offensive foul on West and gave the Knicks the ball.

After review, the league had a different opinion.

Smith is the third player to be fined in the postseason under the league's tougher flopping policy, which eliminates the free warning that players were given during the regular season and assesses escalating fines for each subsequent offense.

Pacers forward Jeff Pendergraph and Thunder guard Derek Fisher were also fined in the postseason. Nineteen players were warned for flopping in the regular season, with five of those players receiving fines for a second offense.

The league announced the fine Friday after the Knicks practiced, so neither Smith nor the team were available for comment.

Smith, however, was a big topic of discussion at the team's last practice before heading for Indianapolis to play Game 3. With the series tied 1-1, the Knicks hope to win at least one game on the road and take back home-court advantage. Smith rediscovering his shot would go a long way in helping the Knicks in their quest.

Smith, recently voted the league's Sixth Man award, is shooting 15-for-57 in his four games since being suspended for Game 4 of the Knicks' first-round series against Boston. Smith shot 4-for-15 in the Game 1 loss to the Pacers, and 3-for-15 in the Knicks' Game 2 win.

Smith has not been made available to reporters in the days since the Game 2 loss. His team and coach, however, have had plenty to say about how they need him to begin knocking some shots down.

"I worry about everybody who's struggling to shoot the ball, especially in a playoff series," coach Mike Woodson said Friday when asked if he was concerned about Smith's shooting. "But you can't give up hope. J.R. is a big piece to what we've done this season, and I just got to help him as a coach. Teammates have to help him. And he has to help himself. I've got confidence he will do that."

Over his nearly two decades in the league, guard Jason Kidd has seen plenty of players go through cold streaks. And he believes there is only one cure.

"Just keep shooting," he said. "You've got to shoot your way out of it. No matter if you're hot or cold as a shooter, you just have to keep shooting. For a teammate like that who might not be making shots, you just give him the ball and let him keep taking the shots he's been taking and hopefully, a couple more go in in Game 3."

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