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Denver guard J.R. Smith says Nuggets didn't have a “pulse” as they try to rebound against Oklahoma City

J.R. Smith has been the Nuggets' leading scorer since the Carmelo Anthony trade. But after scoring just two points in Game 3 against Oklahoma City, Smith said his team has no pulse and doesn't expectd to return to Denver next season.
FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS Staff Writer email@opubco.com Modified: April 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm •  Published: April 21, 2011
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DENVER — With his team in a 0-2 series hole headed into Saturday night's game against Oklahoma City, Denver guard J.R. Smith said the Nuggets didn't have a “pulse” Thursday at a team meeting at the Pepsi Center.


"Just frustration, just really didn't have any life in there," Smith told the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman. "No one was really into it.”

Smith, the Nuggets' leading scorer since the Feb. 21 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York, scored only two points on 1-of-6 shooting Wednesday in the Thunder's 106-89 victory over Denver in Game 3. In the seven minutes Smith was on the floor, Oklahoma City outscored Denver by 17, prompting Nuggets coach George Karl to say “the floodgates opened” when Smith played.

"I don't read the quotes any more. I don't even want to get into that,” Smith told the Post. “If he asks me to play, I'll play, if not, I won't. It's kind of getting ridiculous.

"I'm not worried about my shots," Smith said. "That's one of the things I was here for, I thought. If they ask me to play, I'll play. If not, I'll just cheer for my teammates."

Smith, who opened his NBA career with New Orleans and played one season in Oklahoma City when the Hornets relocated temporarily due to Hurricane Katrina, told the Post he doesn't expect to return to Denver next season.

"There's a strong possibility as of right now," said Smith, who will be a free agent this summer. "It's not going the way I planned it to go. It's a tough situation. I want to be here, I love the fans and everything about the city. It's just maybe not my fit."


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