INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Knicks guard J.R. Smith understands the problem.
He's still trying to fix it.
Smith played more like his old self Thursday night, making 6 of 12 shots and finishing with 12 points in a 117-89 loss at Indiana — the Knicks' worst road loss of the season. Afterward, he understood why coach Mike Woodson had benched him twice in the previous four games.
"Yes and no," he said. "I think it's a combination of some things, but we've got to work that out within the team and we'll go from there."
It's been a strange season for the nine-year veteran who won last year's Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Smith came into Thursday night's game with solid averages — 11.4 points, 4. 4 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
But productivity hasn't been the issue.
He was suspended without pay for the first five games of the season for violating terms of the league's anti-drug program. The suspension cost him more than $250,000.
He was also fined $25,000 by the league in November for using hostile and inappropriate language on the Twitter account of Pistons' guard Brandon Jennings.
Last week, Smith incurred yet another fine — this time $50,000 from the league for repeated unprofessional behavior. He was caught trying to untie an opponent's sneakers for the second time in two games.