NY Knicks Rumors: How J.R. Smith Must Adapt to Joining the Red-Hot Knicks

Sean JacksonContributor IIIFebruary 17, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

On twitter this morning, J.R. Smith announced he would sign with the New York Knicks.

By signing with the Knicks, he’ll take on more of a supporting role, due to the emergence of Jeremy Lin. If Smith is able to adapt in his approach and play within the Knicks‘ team set, he could become the role player New York needs.

Smith must begin this approach mentally. He won’t be coming into New York as the man.

In fact, he’ll at least be fourth behind Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. This doesn’t mean he cannot fit into the picture though.

He must accept his supporting role and mesh into the team. If he has attitude problems early on, he could see the opportunities he would have received fall by the wayside right away.

From there, he needs to take advantage of his chances when he receives them. Smith can be a potent perimeter player and the Knicks could use someone of his caliber to knock down big shots in games.

While Lin has been lighting it up as of late, his hot streak won’t last forever and this is where Smith can fill in well.

With the possibility of either him or Lin knocking down perimeter shots, it’s going to create a lot of pressure on opponents to guard the back-court. Moreover, with Jeremy’s ability to control the ball and move it around well, it will give Smith plenty of opportunities to shine.

Ultimately, if J.R. can come in and adapt to a team that is evolving, he’ll find a comfortable role where he can make a difference on a playoff team in need of more experience at the guard position.