Latest News, NBA / Dec 15, 2013 / 3:30 pm

Report: Rift Between J.R. Smith & Mike Woodson Leads To Fourth-Quarter Benching

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith (photo. Rob Hammer)

On Friday night, in Boston, Knicks guard J.R. Smith attempted just a single shot in 27 minutes of action. On Saturday night, with Atlanta at MSG, he was conspicuously absent when the Knicks held on down the stretch — behind Carmelo Anthony‘s 15 fourth-quarter points — to defeat the Hawks, 111-106. Now comes word there’s a growing fissure between Smith and coach Mike Woodson.

The New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola reports:

According to a team source, Woodson admonished Smith for poor shot selection during the Bulls game and then became upset over something Smith said on the bench. Woodson waited until after the game to express his disappointment with Smith’s attitude and reminded the volatile shooting guard that he’s been his strongest advocate for the past two seasons.

“Mike said that after all I’ve done for you I can’t have you talking back to me like that,” the source claimed. The same source added that Smith made a lewd comment that angered Woodson.

During Thursday’s practice, Woodson used the game film from the win over the Bulls to demonstrate moments when Smith forced shots when he could have passed. Smith’s response to Woodson’s coaching lesson was to attempt one shot in 27 minutes against the Boston Celtics.

Saturday night, Smith scored two points, making just one shot on eight attempts in 24 minutes, and appeared to be benched in the fourth quarter of a 111-106 win over the Hawks at the Garden.

Isola went on to note that Smith had been averaging 11.6 shots per contest entering Friday’s Boston game. J.R. was just 1-for-8 from the floor against the Hawks on Saturday night, and appeared forlorn on the bench even as the Knicks were taking a double-digit lead over Atlanta.

At one point, with Smith’s sullen countenance juxtaposing his relived-looking teammates, Knicks reserve guard Pablo Prigioni whsipered some words to Smith on the bench, which seemed — to this viewer, at least — like an attempt to improve Smith’s demeanor.

The Knicks, 7-16 after Saturday’s win, have had other drama outside the Smith and Woodson friction. Metta World Peace, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Raymond Felton — out 2-3 weeks with a strained left hamstring — have all been involved in trade talks with the Raptors as part of the Kyle Lowry imbroglio.


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  • nykbockers

    this is outrageous. You should be stripped from your privileges of writing articles. Jr was “benched” because tim hardaway jr was having a hell of a game and JR was 1-8. You think if their “rift” was anything serious woodson would have started JR that game? Dont lure people into reading your disgustingly false articles by making a fake headline. You are whats wrong with the media. You

  • nykbockers

    in short. fuck you spencer you sick fuck

  • Nick

    He didn’t make the report up, you nut.

  • nykbockers

    uhh yea the report of a jr smith and woodson rift is debatable. But can you show me any evidence that it led to his fourth quarter benching? Woodson has already said in an interview that it wasn’t a benching. TIm hardaway jr just flat out played better. So yes when it says..”Report: Rift between Jr smith and mike woodson leads to fourth quarter benching it is made up.” But wait, i’m open to you finding some me some info saying woodson benched him because of the rift. The guy started the game for christ sakes.. i guess the yelling match promoted him to a starter? i should make an article stating that i guess. Seems logical since i have said it with no evidence

  • spencer

    Isola: “and appeared to be benched in the fourth quarter of a 111-106 win over the Hawks at the Garden.”

  • nykbockers

    “can you show me any evidence that it led to his fourth quarter benching”did you even read my argument? i realize he was “benched” (i use quotations because mike woodson already stated it wasn’t a benching) because of tim hardaway’s good play like i previously stated. But can you find me any evidence that says he was benched because of the rift like you proclaimed?

  • nykbockers

    lol look the knicks have so much bad publicity right now and rightfully so, but im just pissed that guys like you are just adding fuel to the bad publicity with blatantly false headlines. Like im glad you have the intelligence to basically rewrite what isola is saying so that you can make money or whatever. But cmon man dont be making your own headlines of bullshit online. The apparent rift that they had, has nothing to do with jr shooting 1-8 and not playing in the fourth