Pop star Rihanna 'clubs' J.R. Smith

Rihanna reportedly clubs New York Knicks J.R. Smith through Instagram post

New York Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith has been struggling in the playoffs, to the point where he's blaming himself for his team’s second-round woes against the Indiana Pacers.

But if an Instagram comment posted Thursday by R&B singer Rihanna is to be believed, there could be a simple explanation for why Smith is stuck in such a rut on the court: He may be spending too much time in the club.

On Thursday, Rihanna, who was rumored to be dating Smith last year and was spotted with Smith at a SoHo club last week, posted a photo of herself for her 7.4 million Instagram followers. Then in the comments, she reportedly responded to a user named @peruvian_gawdwho has since deleted his account — with the following profanity-laced message:

We’ll let you fill in the blanks, but it’s assumed that the hoops star in question is Smith — a player for whom partying has been an issue, both recently and in the past. After New York’s Game 1 loss to Indiana at home, Smith, himself, took to Twitter to address rumors that he had been out at a club the night before his 4-for-15 shooting performance:

However, after New York’s Game 2 win — Smith was 3-for-15 in that one — the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year was spotted at another NYC nightclub with Rihanna, who was in town for a concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn:

Smith responded after Thursday's Game 5 win, saying "I'm not worried about Instagram, I'm worried about the playoffs." But whatever Smith’s routine has been lately, he ought to shake it up: He’s 30-for-102 in his past seven games, and despite Thursday's 85-75 win (in which Smith scored 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting), the Knicks still are one game from elimination.

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