J.R. Smith is panicking following the New York Knicks’ 103-96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
“We’re frustrated,” Smith said, per ESPNNewYork.com. “Like you say, it’s too early to panic, but me, personally, I’m panicking. I don’t like this.
“I don’t want to play 3-8 basketball,” Smith continued. “I don’t want to play 50-50 basketball. If we’re going to be a championship-caliber team and call ourselves that, then we’ve gotta play like that. It can’t be no other way.”
The Knicks have lost four straight, six straight at Madison Square Garden, and have shown a lack of effort throughout the season. The team is 2-5 since losing Tyson Chandler to a fractured right fibula.
“Lack of intensity,” Smith said. “I hate to say it, but our defense’s backbone is on Tyson, and Tyson’s not here right now. And we know that, and he’s not going to be available for a few weeks now, so we’ve gotta step it up individually. It’s a team game, but individually we’ve got to take pride in guarding the ball, guarding our man. We have to enjoy stopping the other team.”
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 18 rebounds, while Smith had 21 points but missed an open 3 with 57.1 seconds remaining and a tip at the end of regulation.
The Knicks led by three with 9.2 seconds left. But Iman Shumpert was called for a foul on Paul George’s 3-point attempt, and George made all three of his free throws to force overtime.
“We play too up-and-down,” Smith said. “When we are on the highs, we are great. When we are on the lows, we are terrible. We got to have that steady pace throughout the whole year.
“We lost to teams we have no business losing to,” Smith later added.