Mike Woodson can say anything about his pet, J.R. Smith, and nobody takes it too seriously. But the Knicks coach certainly is beside himself regarding Smith, who has not been playing at the level befitting the 2012-13 Sixth Man Award winner.
Woodson certainly didn’t enjoy some of Smith’s recent psychobabble after recent Knicks losses to Indiana and Washington.
After the Indiana game, Smith said he felt like “panicking’’ because of the poor start. Woodson knocked him Sunday and went even further Monday after the morning shootaround at Portland’s Moda Center.
When asked if he was irritated by Smith’s panic remark, Woodson said: “To be sitting here after 12 games talking about I’m in a panic stage, I might need to punch him out and get it out of his thought process.”
The Knicks coach then smirked, but it wasn’t meant entirely as a big joke.
“If we panic,’’ said point guard Raymond Felton, “we might as just well shut down the season.’’
After the Pacers heartbreaker Wednesday, Smith said: “Like you say, it’s too early to panic, but me, personally, I’m panicking. I don’t like this.’’