The Knicks are 1-3 and it is clear that the Knicks' defense or lack thereof is the major culprit. However, with the injury to Tyson Chandler highlighting the Knicks' deficiencies to start the season, it is easy to wonder where the Knicks would be if J.R. Smith had not been suspended because of his transgressions and 6-2 guard Chris Smith had not been retained, instead of a big man, because he is J.R.'s brother.
The Knicks' miss the energy and offensive fire power of J.R. Smith who is serving a 5-game cheeba suspension. There is little doubt that his inattention to professional details has left his teammates to flounder and Coach Woodson searching for viable options without the proper tools. Arguably one of the reasons Woodson does not have the proper tools is that he selected to keep J.R.'s brother on the roster instead of one of the bigs vying for a spot during pre-season camp. Coach Woodson did not help matters when he honestly stated that Chris Smith's chances of making the team were enhanced by family ties.
Recently, ESPN basketball analyst Bill Simmons led the charge by criticizing Dolan for keeping Chris Smith on Twitter. Smith, a walk-on at University of Louisville who played a solid role on Rick Pitino's 2013 NCAA Final Four squad, responded to Simmons, who was later joined in the feud by Adrian Wojnarowski, on Twitter.
Although, Chris has his supporters, such as Rick Bozich of WDRB.com in Louisville, there is nothing Smith can do about the big hole in the middle of the Knick's roster. By association, J.R. will receive some of the blame for that hole. Does he deserve it? Does the blame simply rest with his ineffective teammates? Or does the blame for the Knicks woes rest with management's construction of the team?