J.R. Smith has come a long way since his rookie year straight out of high school. Now that the veteran shooting guard has finally honed his talent and improved his shot selection, it’s no coincidence that the Knicks have one of the best benches in the league. And now Smith has something else on his agenda – his first All Star birth.
“My eyes are on being an All-Star, honestly,’’ Smith said. “I’m not focusing on Sixth Man. Sixth Man is more long-term, honestly, end of the year. My individual goal right now is All-Star, then I’ll think about the Sixth Man. I’m trying to be that All-Star coming off the bench for my team.’’
If Smith does make the All Star team, it wouldn’t be the first time that a 6th man has made it.
Coach Woodson said, “That was the whole idea coming into this season, putting him in a position as a guy coming off the bench as a guy that can lead the league or score a lot of points. We’re putting him in position to do that. I think he’s starting to step up and be more patient about his play. He’s trying to do it on both ends of the floor.’’
The All Star reserves are chosen by the coaches, not the fans. So, if the coaches appreciate Smith's work this year as much as his own coach does, he'll be making his first trip to the All Star game.