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.
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:
Cam Newton, JR Smith, CC Sabathia, CJ Watson, Andre Blatche and Joe Johnson in the building!The lineup is serious tonight NY!
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:
Rihanna & JR Smith (he doesn't look sober) celebrating in NY's Greenhouse club after Knicks' win vs the Pacers. twitter.com/SportandoBaske…
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.