Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

J.R. Smith wins Sixth Man of the Year award

According to the New York Times, J.R Smith will be announced as the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year. The NBA will make the announcement at 2:30 EST from Madison Square Garden’s training center.

Smith averaged 18.1 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting from the field during the regular season. His previous career high in points came in the 2009-10 season when he averaged 15.4 ppg.

For the first time in his career, Smith didn’t start a single game during the regular season, but somehow still found a way to contribute to the Knickerbockers during a stint plagued with injuries.

After a subpar start to the season, Smith exploded in the month of March, tallying 22.1 ppg in 18 games played while grabbing six rebounds and racking up 1.4 steals.

But it didn’t stop there.

Smith’s heroics poured over into the month of April, where in eight games he continued his hot streak, once again tallying 22 points per game for the month.

The 18th overall pick in the 2004 Draft, J.R. has become as known for his aggressive, often brilliant play as for his inconsistency and inefficiency — the kind of player that can break out for thirty points for six games straight, only to go 1-7 and spend his post-game time engaging in Twitter propositions the following night.

Love him or hate him (please tell me you love him, because I certainly do), Smith has been the second scoring option and crucial offensive piece on an aged Knicks squad whose prospects heading into the season varied depending on who you asked.

Smith started the postseason on Saturday going 7-for-19 from the field, 1-for-7 from three, and missed his only free throw attempt, yet still found a way to contribute: 15 points, five rebounds, and a couple memorable highlights, punctuated by a thunderous second quarter driving dunk.

Smith finished the season with seven outings of 30 points or more. He also tallied a PER of 17.6, an increase from 15.2 last season.

56 comments on “J.R. Smith wins Sixth Man of the Year award

  1. mcliff05

    Congrats JR, well deserved. Thank God the ‘Bockers took game one depsite an “at least I wasnt as bad as Jason Terry” performance from our prized 6th man.

  2. bocker84

    Congrats JR. Personally speaking, this time last year I couldn’t stand the way you played ball. Now that you have matured, dramatically increased your overall arsenal, and have gotten focused on D – I am proud to call you one of the finer Knickerbockers I have seen.

    To quote Kevin McElroy in his coverage of the Cereal Bowl – Somewhere, John Starks nods resolutely, a single tear rolling down his cheek. “Be you, JR” he says. “Be you.”

  3. thenamestsam

    bocker84:
    Congrats JR.Personally speaking, this time last year I couldn’t stand the way you played ball.Now that you have matured, dramatically increased your overall arsenal, and have gotten focused on D – I am proud to call you one of the finer Knickerbockers I have seen.

    To quote Kevin McElroy in his coverage of the Cereal Bowl – Somewhere, John Starks nods resolutely, a single tear rolling down his cheek.“Be you, JR” he says.“Be you.”

    I’m 100% behind this. I was really not a fan of the way JR played last year for the most part, and while I still had hopes that Woodson could make him an effective contributor if he could turn him into purely a spot up guy on offense I thought relying on him in a big role was a recipe for disaster. I couldn’t be more happy to be wrong. Lay some celebratory pipe tonight JR. You deserve it.

  4. d-mar

    I would tell JR to go out and get a “6th Man of the Year” tattoo, but unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a square inch of space available for it (as far as I know)

  5. AvonBarksdale

    Celebratory pipe laying should be a more commonly used phrase. I think bad jr last year had some extremely entertaining dunks and hustle plays but obviously now he is way more reliable and doesn’t dribble the entire shot clock for an ugly ass step back, Boston is gonna get great jr in at least two games in this series’s which we by my calculations means we will blow them out at least one game In this series. As long as chandler and him can do a little better and melo shot falls a little better we will sweep. We won that first game playing not even close to our best and we didn’t panic when they were up 7. Indiana next it seems….

  6. Juany8

    AvonBarksdale:
    Celebratory pipe laying should be a more commonly used phrase. I think bad jr last year had some extremely entertaining dunks and hustle plays but obviously now he is way more reliable and doesn’t dribble the entire shot clock for an ugly ass step back, Boston is gonna get great jr in at least two games in this series’s which we by my calculations means we will blow them out at least one game In this series. As long as chandler and him can do a little better and melo shot falls a little better we will sweep. We won that first game playing not even close to our best and we didn’t panic when they were up 7. Indiana next it seems….

    I didn’t think Melo shot that well either but I think he ended up with like a .570 TS% on a large number of shots, which is actually pretty excellent against a playoff defense. I’d say Kidd, Melo, and Felton played right at the level they need to be, Chandler is going to have to get a lot better before the second round though.

    By the way, it’s pretty incredible that during this big streak, the Knicks have only had 1 of their “big 3″ seriously playing in games. Speaks well for Melo obviously, but even better about Woodson and Grenwald. These guys are all playing hard, buying into their roles, and competing against everyone. Players absolutely nobody wanted are finishing games in the playoffs. If I had told you at the beginning of the season, or even after the 18-5 start, that Kenyon Martin would finish game 1 for the Knicks against the Celtics, I can’t imagine the reaction would have been pretty.

  7. thenamestsam

    Juany8: I didn’t think Melo shot that well either but I think he ended up with like a .570 TS% on a large number of shots, which is actually pretty excellent against a playoff defense. I’d say Kidd, Melo, and Felton played right at the level they need to be, Chandler is going to have to get a lot better before the second round though.

    By the way, it’s pretty incredible that during this big streak, the Knicks have only had 1 of their “big 3? seriously playing in games. Speaks well for Melo obviously, but even better about Woodson and Grenwald. These guys are all playing hard, buying into their roles, and competing against everyone. Players absolutely nobody wanted are finishing games in the playoffs. If I had told you at the beginning of the season, or even after the 18-5 start, that Kenyon Martin would finish game 1 for the Knicks against the Celtics, I can’t imagine the reaction would have been pretty.

    It’s pretty amazing that both Birdman and KMart were available halfway through the year and now they’re both critically important to the two best teams in the East.

  8. Juany8

    thenamestsam: It’s pretty amazing that both Birdman and KMart were available halfway through the year and now they’re both critically important to the two best teams in the East.

    I’m actually starting to think coaches and front offices have a bigger impact than they’re given credit for, partly because of situations like this. Part of the reason these teams are able to bring on these troubled players and make it work is because of the whole environment present within the organization. You simply can’t get me to believe that JR would be playing equally well for Charlotte right now, and a big part of the reason is that he’ll be held accountable on the Knicks, not just by Woodson but by guys like Kidd as well. That’s why these teams are able to be competitive even when they’re missing their stars. Who can forget San Antonio almost beating the Heat despite benching everyone, or the fact that the Heat DID beat San Antonio without Lebron or wade?

  9. jon abbey

    thenamestsam: It’s pretty amazing that both Birdman and KMart were available halfway through the year and now they’re both critically important to the two best teams in the East.

    this isn’t so infrequent in the NBA and might become even more so as the new CBA prices out mid-price guys, so they might as well wait around and sign with the best teams.

    but the Celtics don’t win in 2008 without PJ Brown, who signed with them on Feb 27 that year. I’m sure there are other examples I’m not thinking of right now.

  10. nicos

    thenamestsam: It’s pretty amazing that both Birdman and KMart were available halfway through the year and now they’re both critically important to the two best teams in the East.

    Well Anderson did have some legal issues that may have teams want to steer clear of him. I’m sure they both were also looking for multi-year deals at more than the league minimum early in the year. That said, I do wonder if Karl may have sandbagged them a bit- you have to think that a gm or two would have reached out to Karl if they were thinking of signing one of them. Given how many teams needed interior help this season it’s shocking no one picked them up.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Man, Milwaukee is so bad that the Heat/Bucks game is going to be on NBA-TV on Tuesday. When the defending NBA champs are on NBA-TV, you know that their opponent sucks.

  12. thenamestsam

    Brian Cronin:
    Man, Milwaukee is so bad that the Heat/Bucks game is going to be on NBA-TV on Tuesday. When the defending NBA champs are on NBA-TV, you know that their opponent sucks.

    It was funny to me watching game 1 to see Miami treat it exactly like a regular season game. Spoelstra didn’t change the rotation at all from what they’ve been using in the regular season and even before it turned into a laugher he was keeping everyones minutes way down. Chris Bosh only played 16 first half minutes, 18.5 for Lebron and 16.5 for Wade. They’re clearly focused on the big picture- Spoelstra knows they can beat Milwaukee at a canter. Hell, he could rest Lebron for a game if he wanted and they’d still have a good shot.

  13. thenamestsam

    ruruland:
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/04/21/carmelo-anthony-knicks-diva-will-never-win-all/bAHFCLvUYfrvFu6xHsuTJK/story.html

    Why feed the troll? Shaughnessy is a hack and everyone knows it. He writes an article purely for attention and didn’t even manage to get more than 5 minutes of buzz for it.

    If anything Melo should take it as a compliment that he’s taken over Lebron’s mantle as the “Doesn’t have what it takes to win it all guy”.

  14. d-mar

    Well, at least he’s trashing someone from the other team, Mitch Lawrence trashes his own team – after a victory.

  15. Kurt

    Amen to that! Obviously talent is necessary. But without the proper structure there’s only so far that talent will carry you. And obviously playing a system without your stars isn’t sustainable in the long term, but for games at a time it works. And a lot of credit goes to Woodson and Grunwald.

    Juany8: I’m actually starting to think coaches and front offices have a bigger impact than they’re given credit for, partly because of situations like this. Part of the reason these teams are able to bring on these troubled players and make it work is because of the whole environment present within the organization. You simply can’t get me to believe that JR would be playing equally well for Charlotte right now, and a big part of the reason is that he’ll be held accountable on the Knicks, not just by Woodson but by guys like Kidd as well. That’s why these teams are able to be competitive even when they’re missing their stars. Who can forget San Antonio almost beating the Heat despite benching everyone, or the fact that the Heat DID beat San Antonio without Lebron or wade?

  16. Juany8

    Kurt:
    Amen to that! Obviously talent is necessary. But without the proper structure there’s only so far that talent will carry you. And obviously playing a system without your stars isn’t sustainable in the long term, but for games at a time it works. And a lot of credit goes to Woodson and Grunwald.

    Actually I think that’s part of what makes players stars: they’re capable of being awesome night in and night out when the defense is trying to stop them. You still want a good system in place so that you can rest your stars and deal with injuries as they come. You just don’t spend a lot of money on role players because you can get them for cheap pretty much every round and develop them into the role players you need.

  17. ruruland

    fwiw: “Without a doubt,” Smith said. “I was born in New Jersey, born and raised. I would love to retire a Knick.”

  18. Juany8

    Damn you know what I cannot believe any of this shit is happening right now. I was more optimistic than most at the beginning of the regular season, but I never really thought JR would win 6th man of the year, or that our playoff hopes would rest on Kenyon Martin and that I feel perfectly fine typing that. It’s been a crazy season, here’s hoping it doesn’t end anytime soon.

  19. ephus

    Quick preview of my forthcoming article on JR Smith’s salary status:

    * JR can decline his player option after this season and become an unrestricted free agent;

    * If JR becomes an unrestricted free agent, Knicks only have Early Bird rights to him, so the max contract that they could offer him is the MLE (roughly $5.1 million), and it would have to be for a minimum of two years with a 4.5% raise in year 2.

    * If the Knicks signed JR Smith to the full MLE, they COULD NOT exceed the Apron ($4 million over the tax threshold – roughly $74 million).

    * If JR becomes a unrestricted free agent, other teams with cap room could offer up to a max contract, which for a 9 year veteran could be as high as $16.4 million for the first year (and go up by 4.5% per year).

    * The Knicks could also sign JR Smith to a one year contract for up to $3.3 million, with a player option on year 2 at $3.5 million, without using any of their exemptions. This is more than the mini-MLE (which would require at least a two year contract).

    * If JR Smith signs another one year deal with the Knicks ($3.3 million with $3.5 million player option), JR Smith will get Full Bird Rights with the Knicks after next season. As a ten year veteran, he would be eligible for a max contract starting at $18.1 million, with 4.5% raises each year.

    My conspiratorial mind tells me that CAA may convince JR Smith to take one more one-year deal from the Knicks, and get the $18 million max deal next year. He would have a $3.5 million insurance policy (in his player option) against a major injury. I think this scenario may already have been presented to JR Smith, leading to his big talk about “loyalty” and “seeing the plan” last summer when Jeremy Lin was allowed to depart to Houston.

    All of these scenarios are based upon my reading of Larry Coon’s cbafaq.com The knowledge is from Larry Coon. Only the mistakes are mine.

  20. airchibundo507

    Wow, Chicago is a completely different team tonight. Carlesimo’s rotations are quite suspect. He had DWill, Johnson and Lopez on the bench simultaneously a good 5 minutes in the second quarter. He’s also oblivious to how his team is playing 3 on 5. Chicago is refusing to guard Evans and Wallace while having all 5 defenders camped in the paint. DWill shooting 1-7 FG. Feels like I’m watching Melo in the postseason early in his career. No spacing, limited scoring threats and an elite defense completely focused on stopping him from scoring.

  21. ephus

    airchibundo507:
    Wow, Chicago is a completely different team tonight. Carlesimo’s rotations are quite suspect. He had DWill, Johnson and Lopez on the bench simultaneously a good 5 minutes in the second quarter. He’s also oblivious to how his team is playing 3 on 5. Chicago is refusing to guard Evans and Wallace while having all 5 defenders camped in the paint. DWill shooting 1-7 FG. Feels like I’m watching Melo in the postseason early in his career. No spacing, limited scoring threats and an elite defense completely focused on stopping him from scoring.

    +1. After Game 1, I thought that the Bulls had no chance unless they caught lightning in a bottle with Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson. I WAS WRONG. Deron Williams is not doing any of the things that he did in Game 1. As a result, the Nets cannot get into their offense.

    The lesson, as usual, is This Is A Great Time To Be A Knick Fan! Knicks do not have to face the Bulls unless they both make the ECF.

  22. ruruland

    ephus: +1.After Game 1, I thought that the Bulls had no chance unless they caught lightning in a bottle with Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson. I WAS WRONG.Deron Williams is not doing any of the things that he did in Game 1.As a result, the Nets cannot get into their offense.

    The lesson, as usual, is This Is A Great Time To Be A Knick Fan!Knicks do not have to face the Bulls unless they both make the ECF.

    It was pretty clear Chicago was flat in game one. It seems like people forget every that most somewhat evenly matched series have ebbs and flows.

    But, bundo (hey man), is definitely on point regarding Nets spacing problems. When Nets are’t hitting glass and Williams isn’t make shots off bounce, they are a bad offensive team.

  23. BigBlueAL

    Noah is obviously struggling like crazy out there physically but he is giving it his all. Wonder what Rose is feeling watching this.

  24. ruruland

    DRed:
    Anyone willing to pay JR Smith 16 million dollars would have to be even crazier than he is.

    Agreed. The second year full birds has been brought up before, but does seem somewhat plausible.

  25. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Noah is obviously struggling like crazy out there physically but he is giving it his all.Wonder what Rose is feeling watching this.

    It’s truly insane that Rose never suited up. I can’t think of a similar scenario off the top of my head. A guy cleared by doctors, dominating intra-squad scrimmages, with his team in post-season that with him has legit chance at title……

  26. d-mar

    Can Knickerbloggers please take a pledge: “I will not draw conclusions from game 1 of a playoff series”

    The Nets aren’t that good. The Bulls aren’t that good. That’s why they’re seeded 4 and 5. 7 game series, count on it.

  27. ruruland

    GHenman:
    I think its possible Rose never recovers fully psychologically.

    Not after he has a chance to reflect on the missed opportunity.

  28. GHenman

    I don’t doubt he’ll play again, but maybe not with the same reckless abandon that me him great.

  29. ruruland

    Talked about this with Herring earlier. Obviously the normal disclaimer: Love Chandler, think he’s an excellent player in a lot of ways and I understand he had flu last year and bulging disc could be problem.

    But check out his playoff numbers in Knicks career.

    Per 36: 5.9 points, 44 fg%, 60 ft %, .491 TS, 9.5 rbds, 1.3 blocks, 2.9 turnovers, 1.2 steals.

    I don’t care how active Chandler is on defense (we know he hasn’t protected rim well, go back and watch him watch layup line in Miami series) or how much of a threat he is on dive (which it seems Martin and all high screeners in 4-out at least come close to replicating), or how well he sets screens, it’s virtually impossible to have a positive impact on the game with those numbers.

    But how does that compare to his career playoff history?

    It’s normal for most players to see precipitous declines in efficiency during post-season, but Chandler has had drops in two critical categories — rebounds % (18.4-16.6) block % (3.7-3.3)….

    And he has a career 11.1 usage in the playoffs and has nearly half as many turnovers as field goals made.

    And check this, since his first playoff year in Chicago where he actually tried a post move or two, has scored in single digits in 37 of 53 playoff games… I mean shit.

    Since his first year in playoffs, he hasn’t scored more than 15 points in 53 playoff games.

    Worse yet, he’s only had more than 15 rebounds twice in those 53 playoff games.

    As a point of reference, in the same time frame and in 7 fewer playoff games, Carmelo Anthony has one.

    Chandler has reached double digit rebounds in 16 of 53 playoff games since his first playoff series (30 percent of time).

    As a point of reference, Anthony has reached double digit rebounds in 13 of 46 playoff games in that same stretch (28 % of time).

    Melo’s rebound, steal and block percentage go up in the playoff. Way up if just compare the same time frames.

    The pt issue is my next point…

  30. ruruland

    Chandler has played 30 or fewer minutes in 23 of 53 playoff games and has been an absolute foul machine, without the benefit of shots blocked.

    Chandler averages 4.8 fouls per 36 minutes in the playoffs, getting just 1.7 blocks for the damage (his playoff blocks high per 36 was also set his first year)

    As a point of reference, KMart, who does not have Chandler’s defensive reputation as a rim protector (which seems odd to me), averages 4.1 fouls per 36 minutes in his playoff career to go along with 1.3 blocks, just about the same ratio.

    That’s why K-Mart is virtually the same defender Chandler is. Not as good of a rebounder, * can be* but great in help situations, versatile, better on guards and wings while Chandler is better against bigs in post.

    But the Knicks need Chandler to be a lot more than KMArt (who everyone should respect and appreciate by now).

    Is Chandler the best player in the Knicks? That’s for people like Owen to decide.

    All I know is he needs to be a lot better. I mean, a lot better.

    He can’t be the no-show guy he was a few years in New Orleans and the year the Bobcats made the playoffs.

    Chandler’s atrocious play in 2009 was a big reason Denver won by an average of 25 points per game. That should not have been such a one-sided series (many picked the Hornets to win that series).

  31. ruruland

    Chandle’s 6.7 points per 36 in playoffs last year was 39th lowest in NBA history of players who played at least 28 mpg and 4 playoff games in a playoff season.

    He has three seasons in the lower 150.

    There have been 2768 seasons that fit the criteria, putting all three of Chandler’s seasons in the fifth percentile or below.

    WOW.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_minute&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=Y&year_min=&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=mp_per_g&c1comp=gt&c1val=28&c2stat=g&c2comp=gt&c2val=4&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=pts_per_g&order_by_asc=Y

  32. MeloDrama

    ruruland:
    Chandler has played 30 or fewer minutes in 23 of 53 playoff games and has been an absolute foul machine, without the benefit of shots blocked.

    Chandler averages 4.8 fouls per 36 minutes in the playoffs, getting just 1.7 blocks for the damage (his playoff blocks high per 36 was also set his first year)

    As a point of reference, KMart, who does not have Chandler’s defensive reputation as a rim protector (which seems odd to me), averages 4.1 fouls per 36 minutes in his playoff career to go along with 1.3 blocks, just about the same ratio.

    That’s why K-Mart is virtually the same defender Chandler is. Not as good of a rebounder, * can be* but great in help situations, versatile, better on guards and wings while Chandler is better against bigs in post.

    But the Knicks need Chandler to be a lot more than KMArt (who everyone should respect and appreciate by now).

    Is Chandler the best player in the Knicks? That’s for people like Owen to decide.

    All I know is he needs to be a lot better. I mean, a lot better.

    He can’t be the no-show guy he was a few years in New Orleans and the year the Bobcats made the playoffs.

    Chandler’s atrocious play in 2009 was a big reason Denver won by an average of 25 points per game. That should not have been such a one-sided series (many picked the Hornets to win that series).

    I can add a little insight to that Hornets/Denver series since I live in NOLA … Chandler was playing very injured in that series. It’s what got him eventually traded out of New Orleans. The Hornets didn’t have depth to begin with and Chandler and Peja both being hurt submarined them completely.

    I’d give him a pass on that year, but I can’t argue with anything else you said. He needs to round into form in a hurry.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: It’s truly insane that Rose never suited up. I can’t think of a similar scenario off the top of my head. A guy cleared by doctors, dominating intra-squad scrimmages, with his team in post-season that with him has legit chance at title……

    You ever rehab from a knee injury for 12 months? You’re the consummate analyst, so you must have some sort of insight.

    Or maybe Rose is just “soft.”

  34. jon abbey

    heh, yeah, there are a lot of contenders for most ludicrous THCJ statement of the year, but the one about Chandler being a top 10 league offensive player might be my fave. he might not even be top 10 on NY. :)

  35. ruruland

    I had ankle surgery my junior season after I landed on the side of my foot coming down for a rebound. Tore all my ligaments.

    I came back for my senior season of football and had troubles planting, putting weight on it and accelerating. I remember how difficult it was to not think about reinjuring it.

    I dont consider myself an especially mentally tough athlete by any stretch, but I was healthy enough to play my senior season and I did, even though I wasn’t what I had been. It took me until the second to last regular season game to really feel comfortable again. Luckily we made the playoffs and I was able to have a few really good games ( for me).

    I also remember coaches questioning whether I milked the injury when I sat out of a football camp on doctors orders.

    I can’t imagine the regrets I’d have today if I chose to sit out my senior season because I couldn’t handle the mental aspect of the injury.
    Honestly, I would have difficulties escaping my own shame and I’m quite certain I’d have lost all respect from my friends, teammates Et al.

    Derrick Rose is dominating scrimmages, by all accounts. It’s been a month since he was cleared to play and he’s yet to provide a cogent explanation for not at least trying to play.

    Rose is a proffesional athlete getting paid $20 million annum and has a chance to add to a team with an outside shot of making the NBA Finals.

    I can’t think or find another situation that’s comparable to Rose’s. I can’t fathom Rose’s decision to not play.

    It’s hard to imagine something softer than what Rose is doing, at least by grown man standards.

    It’s not like he chose once to sit out after being cleared. He’s making the same choice day after day.

    He’s not playing because he can’t dunk properly off his left foot. I mean, gtfo.

    You have to be seriously deluded to defend the guy.

  36. iserp

    Maybe D-Rose took PEDs to rehabilitate and now doesn’t want to be caught/feels shame to play while on illegal advantage….

    I just find it so weird. It is not like people would look down on him if he comes back and is not 100%.

  37. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: You ever rehab from a knee injury for 12 months? You’re the consummate analyst, so you must have some sort of insight.

    Or maybe Rose is just “soft.”

    LOL at THCJ making wild assumptions about someone/something (Ruru in this case) with little evidence.

    For all you knew Ruru suffered a career ending injury playing basketball. you don’t know the first thing about him, and yet you take that tone.

    And you say you’re actually a teacher of students?

  38. lavor postell

    Rose is just an absolute joke to me right now. Ruru you can’t think of an example because no other professional athlete would be able to pull some shit like this off with little to no media backlash. Remember the furor over Tomlinson pulling himself from the AFC Championship game in 2008 at New England? Or when Cutler, a fellow Chicago star, got knocked out of the NFC Championship game against the Packers in 2011?

    These players were excoriated for not being tough enough and not sacrificing for the team. This is also the NFL which has a significantly higher level of physicality than the NBA. Rose is by any medical standards ready to return to play. He has been cleared by specialists and team doctors for over a month now. Shumpert, injured on the same day, started 45 games this season for our very own Knicks.

    If the Bulls manage to pull off a legitimate upset and advance past the Nets how can anybody in that locker room not be a little miffed at Rose when they get smoked by Miami in 5 despite holding them under 100 points in every contest? You’ve got Noah hobbling around on 1 foot and giving everything he has for the cause. Rose is actually 100% healthy and he’s sitting out because he’s not mentally ready yet. That’s just unacceptable for a max contract player on a team with an actual chance of competing with him on the floor.

  39. flossy

    Remember how much shit Jeremy Lin took from the fans and media for not returning from injury to play in the playoffs, despite not being 100% recovered? He’d have been risking his entire financial future if he’d re-injured himself before free agency. Rose is just protecting his pride. Say what you will about Amar’e, but at this rate it’s looking like he might come back from two different knee surgeries before Rose sees the floor again.

  40. ruruland

    Yeah, I don’t remember the specifics of the Tomlinson situation, but Cutler wasn’t cleared by doctors and had actually proven to be ineffective, unable to plant on his backfoot.

  41. KnickfaninNJ

    To go back a ways another player who had a serious knee injury and sat out much longer than people expected him to, and got a lot of heat for it was Bernard King. He turned out alright, maybe Rose will too.

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