When the Knicks traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers in early January, Smith was reportedly not happy about it. Carmelo Anthony went on the record and revealed that he had to console both players in the Knicks' locker room after hearing about the deal. But Smith—who is averaging six more minutes of playing time and about two more points per game with the Cavs—has come around to playing in Cleveland. Part of that is because he's on a winning team now. But according to him, part of it is also because he's not stuck in Phil Jackson's triangle offense anymore.
"It was tough from a mental standpoint," he said when he was asked about the triangle yesterday after the Cavaliers beat the Knicks 101-83. "You start second-guessing yourself and your talent to a certain point. So many guys thrived in that triangle, and you want to put yourself in that class. Not living up to it is kind of disappointing."
So Smith thinks the triangle could hamper the Knicks. The team is going to make a push to sign some free agents this summer, and he believes that some of those free agents could be scared off by the team's offense.
"You could look at it as a chance to play in New York, one of the best cities in the world, and get a chance to play for the guys who've won more rings than anyone in the business," he said. "It's a matter if the situation fits your game. If you're a freelance player who likes to play up and down, it's not going to suit your game. If you like to play in the halfcourt and move the ball and sacrifice, it's your situation."
Smith has said some really crazy things in the past. But this isn't one of them. The triangle has obviously been good to a lot of guys over the years, but there could be some players who are scared off by it. It'll be something to watch once NBA free agency starts in July.
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[via New York Post]