Knicks could bench struggling J.R. Smith

The New York Knicks were able to even up their second-round series with the Indiana Pacers earlier this week despite the continued shooting slump of J.R. Smith. While Smith has the ability to carry the team at times, coach Mike Woodson told ESPN Radio -- via Newsday -- that he isn't afraid to sit the streaky shooter for longer periods of time if his cold streak continues.

"I'll gauge J.R. as we go along and if I feel he's not giving me anything, I could always turn to other guys on that bench," he said. "I feel good about the guys who come in off the bench, just like I feel good about J.R. But if he's struggling and I feel the need that I got to pull him, I will do that as the head coach."

While Woodson may have confidence in his bench, he also knows that the Knicks are not at full strength without a hot Smith. This hasn't been the case of late, as Smith went only 3-of-15 from the field -- including 1-of-7 from three-point range -- during Game 2. He's now shot only 26 percent since early in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite his comments, you can bet that Woodson will continue to give Smith extended rope as he attempts to break out of his cold streak. While the shots aren't dropping, Woodson believes Smith is giving the team a lot on defense, which is why he's comfortable keeping him on the court.

And because he knows that at any point Smith can go off.

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