- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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J.R. Smith's teammates have a simple message for the slumping sixth man: Just keep shooting.
Smith has struggled mightily from the floor in the past four games, hitting just 26 percent of his attempts.
Coach Mike Woodson and others have expressed confidence that Smith can turn things around. "You can't give up hope," Woodson said Friday. "J.R.'s a big piece to what we've done this season. I've just got to help him as a coach. His teammates have got to help him. And he's got to help himself to snap out of it. I got confidence that he will do that."
Smith is a combined 7-for-30 in two games against the Pacers.
"It's just something where he's just gotta keep shooting," Raymond Felton said. "Every shooter goes through a slump, that's what it is. He's human, he's not perfect. He's gotta keep shooting the ball because we definitely need his scoring."
The rough stretch started in Game 5 of the Celtics series, Smith's first game back following a one-game suspension for elbowing Boston's Jason Terry in the face.
Smith shot 3-for-14 that night. He missed 12 of 16 3-pointers in the following three games.
Woodson did not rule out the possibility of cutting Smith's minutes in Game 3.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Smith shot 50 percent from the field in isolation plays in the first three games of the postseason. Since then, he’s shooting 17.6 percent from the field in such plays. Making matters worse, Smith was fined $5,000 on Friday for flopping in Game 1 against Indiana.
RAY'S OK: Felton injured his left ankle in the third quarter of Game 2 and sat out the fourth quarter. He missed practice on Thursday for personal reasons, but was back on the floor Friday. He said afterward that his ankle was "fine" and that he was 100 percent healthy.
KIDDING ME? Jason Kidd is averaging just 1.4 points per game in the postseason. He's shooting 14 percent from the floor and is playing 25 minutes per night. He's not bothered by his low offensive output, though.
"I don’t have to score to win," Kidd said Friday. "That’s not my game. My game is to get my teammates the ball and play defense and if a shot presents itself, take it -- make or miss. I’m not going to fall in that trap to go out here and shoot 10 times to see if I can get myself going."
GAME 3 VIEWING PARTY: The Knicks will host a free fan festival and outdoor viewing party for Game 3 in Herald Square. The viewing party starts at 3 p.m. (tipoff is at 8 p.m.) and will include appearances by Knicks alumni Bernard King, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Larry Johnson, John Wallace, Dean Meminger, Buck Williams and Cal Ramsey.
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J.R. Smith's teammates have a simple message for the slumping sixth man: Just keep shooting.Smith has struggled mightily from the floor in the past four games, hitting just 26 percent of his attempts.