Source: J.R. Smith wins Sixth Man
The Knicks have called an afternoon news conference at which Smith will be given the award, the source said. The news was previously reported by The Associated Press.
The eighth-year guard has averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the bench. He had 29 games in which he scored 20 points as a reserve, tying him with the Clippers' Jamal Crawford for the NBA lead.
Smith helped the Knicks win the Atlantic Division title for the first time since 1994. New York is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and leads the Boston Celtics 1-0 in their first-round playoff series.
It's the second individual award in two years for the Knicks, following Tyson Chandler's Defensive Player of the Year honor last season.
Smith is the third player in Knicks history to win the NBA's Sixth Man Award, joining John Starks (1996-97) and Anthony Mason (1994-95).
Despite not making a start, Smith was one of the Knicks' most important players. He played more than 40 minutes seven times and was often their only scoring threat behind Carmelo Anthony.
For most of the season, it seemed like Smith would take second place to Crawford.
He struggled for much of January, shooting 36 percent from the floor in that month, including just 25 percent from beyond the arc.
But during the Knicks' 13-game winning streak late in the regular season, the New Jersey native was a model of consistency. He scored 23.2 points per game on 49 percent shooting; prior to the winning streak, Smith averaged 16.7 points per game on 40 percent shooting.
Smith doubled the percentage of shots he took in the restricted area during the winning streak (15.6 percent before March 18; 33 percent in the 13 games following it).
He had three straight 30-point games March 26-29, the first time that was done by a reserve since Milwaukee's Ricky Pierce in 1990.
Smith ended the season leading all bench players in points per game (18.1). Crawford was second with 16.5 points per game. Golden State's Jarrett Jack (12.9 ppg) was another leading candidate for the honor.
Smith signed a two-year contract worth $2.8 million in the offsesaon. The second year has a player option and Smith is expected to decline it and test free agency.
The Knicks will have Smith's Early Bird Rights, meaning they can exceed the salary cap to re-sign the shooting guard if he decides to decline the 2013-14 option.
The Early Bird Rights allow the Knicks to pay Smith up to 175 percent of this season's salary, which is $2.8 million. That means the Knicks could offer him a contract for next season at about $5 million, and the agreement could be up to four years with standard raises.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Ian Begley and The Associated Press was used in this report.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Preview and Odds2010-11-15
Sportsbook.com Nuggets vs. Suns Betting Lines: pick ‘em, Total: 218.5
Denver redeemed itself at home last week giving the Lakers their first loss of the season, after a 31-point defeat in Indiana two days prior. Carmelo Anthony posted his third double-double on the season in just over 40 minutes of play against L.A., scoring 32 points and grabbing 13 boards. With three days of rest over the weekend, the Nuggets head to Phoenix, where they have lost 11 consecutive times, with their last win coming in Anthony’s rookie season.
Defense will be key against the fast-paced and high-scoring Suns, who rank second in the league in points per game (109.1) and three-point shooting (41.6%, tied with Detroit). The Nuggets should be able to keep up the pace with fresh legs. Denver is 3-2 ATS on the road this season, but its unsuccessful history in Phoenix will be difficult to end.
Meanwhile, the Suns topped .500 Sunday night after handing the Lakers their first home loss this season -– second loss in a row -– with a 121-116 win. Steve Nash posted his fourth consecutive double-double, and Jason Richardson dropped seven of the team’s 22 three-pointers for a game-high 35 points. Outside shooting will be crucial Monday night, especially with the uncertain playing status of seven-foot center Robin Lopez, who didn’t return in the second half in L.A. after a spraining his knee. Despite going 2-0 SU as the home favorite, Phoenix is 0-2 SU and ATS in back-to-back games -– a considerable factor to take into account against the well-rested Nuggets.
The Nuggets are still without big men Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin, who are both out indefinitely with knee injuries, but could this only be a minor factor with Lopez’s knee injury. In the last three seasons, three of four games have gone under the total, and this game looks likely to follow the trend due to injuries and lack of rest from consecutive games for Phoenix.
These NBA betting trends indicate that the Suns will cover the point spread tonight.
PHOENIX is 21-9 ATS (+11.1 Units) when playing 4 or less games in 10 days over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PHOENIX 111.4, OPPONENT 103.9 - (Rating = 1*).
Alvin Gentry is 39-18 ATS (68.4%, +19.2 Units) versus poor defensive teams - shooting pct defense of >=46% as the coach of PHOENIX. The average score was PHOENIX 114.7, OPPONENT 105.1 - (Rating = 2*).
To bet on this game or to check out the NBA betting odds for all of tonight’s games, head over to Sportsbook.com now.
NBA: Critical Game 5 in Cleveland-Boston series2010-05-11
While three of the four second round NBA playoff series concluded in sweeps, the remaining series has been intensely competitive, with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers even after four games. Tonight’s Game 5 from Cleveland is critical, and while oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com have the host Cavs as 7.5-point favorites, LeBron & Co. have some definite issues to address if they hope to take the lead in the series.
The spelling might be slightly different, but Rajon Rondo has been very much like Ronco’s famous “Veg-O-Matic”. Rondo has sliced and diced the Cleveland defense and cut up the Cavaliers guards like helpless tomatoes or onions. Even with an up-and-down Game 3 performance, he’s averaging 21.8 points, 13 assists and 8.3 rebounds per contest and is the biggest reason Boston and Cleveland is now best two of three.
NBA playoff basketball is about making adjustments from game to game. Cleveland was more aggressive from the start in Game 3, as LeBron James and his teammates bottled up Boston from the opening tap and free-wheeled around the TD Garden going wherever they wanted in winning 124-95 as one-point underdogs.
Coach Doc Rivers didn’t like his offense or defense in that contest and made two modifications for Sunday’s game. He wanted every defender to create more on-ball pressure, thus limiting Cleveland’s ability to drive or pass wherever they desired to go and got more hands up on shots and limited the Cavs to 40.3 percent shooting after draining 59.5 percent two days prior.
Though not publicly stated since series opener, Rivers evidently gave Rondo the green light to take the ball and go rim-running whether he had teammates or not. Rivers had said after Game 1 he wanted other Celtics players to run with Rondo in transition. They did for the most part in second contest in Cleveland, but went back to old ways in being drubbed in next tilt.
Rondo appeared to have free reign Sunday afternoon and carved up the Cavaliers defense for 29 points, 13 assists and a Bill Russell-like 18 rebounds. Boston won by 10 as 1.5-point home dogs and is 5-1 ATS after winning as a home underdog.
LeBron James has surveyed the situation and is tired of watching his guards get cleaved up by Rondo. “I think it starts with Rondo. He's kind of the engine that really gets them going," James said. "He does everything for them. His performance was unbelievable.
"Rondo was definitely the difference maker."
James has increasingly taken pride in his ability to stop opposing players and was spotted by more than one courtside observer in Boston letting coach Mike Brown know he wants to get into a defensive stance against Rondo.
"I would love to,'' James said after the game. “It's something we maybe should explore because Rondo is definitely dominating this series at the point guard position. For me, I don't have a problem taking Rondo or guarding Rondo throughout the course of the game. If the coaching staff or the guys want me to do it, I will."
This is not unprecedented for the Cavs as King James guarded Derrick Rose in last series and limited what the Bulls guard could do taking turns with teammates.
Cleveland is 13-4 ATS off an upset loss as a road favorite and is a 7.5-point pick at Sportsbook.com with total of 193.5. This strategy might come out of necessity for coach Brown whose team is 16-6 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points. Since the guards are not handling the lightning quick Boston guard and are once again ineffective as scorers, just like in Orlando series in last season’s playoffs, Brown might be forced to employ this method.
The green-clad C’s are 11-4-1 ATS in postseason underdog role and know the better defense they play, that leaves more chances for the former Kentucky guard to run free in the open court.
This TNT 8:00 Eastern matchup has alternated Over’s and Under’s in the first four meetings, however the OVER is still 6-2 in previous eight matchups.
StatFox Power Line – Cleveland by 6