Before J.R. Smith hit the game-winning shot that lifted the Knicks over the Bobcats 100-98, he missed many wide-open looks and made a strange decision seconds earlier that could have come back haunted him and his team.
After stealing a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist pass, Smith appeared to have a layup, but he backed it out and some of his teammates gave him an earful.
Raymond Felton gestured that he should have kept going. It was Felton and Smith on the 2-on-1 fastbreak with the game-clock winding down.
Jason Kidd came running from the other side of the court to try and make a play, but Mike Woodson had already called a timeout.
“At first I thought we had a 2-on-1 layup,” Kidd said. “And then it turned into…. I don’t know what it turned into. I just wanted us to get a good shot.”
Fortunately for the Knicks, Woodson called the timeout. He settled his team in the huddle and with Carmelo Anthony getting his left middle finger stitched, Woodson designed the game-winning play for Felton or Smith.
Smith got the shot, and hit the game-winning 18-foot, step-back fadeaway over Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the buzzer sounded.
“Pulling it out, I wasn’t sure if we really had the advantage,” Smith said. “Had two, three guys trailing the play, had one guy right there. Me and Ray were really indecisive about what we were going to do. So backed it out, called timeout. A few guys were upset with it. But at the end of the day it all worked out.”
“I thought when Raymond and J.R. collided together for the steal, we had numbers to go down to try to score,” Woodson said. “But J.R. pulled it so ended up calling a timeout to try and get the shot. He makes a hell of a shot. It’s a great shot.”