J.R. Smith hasn't even practiced with the Knicks yet -- head coach Mike D'Antoni joked Saturday that he'd need to introduce himself to his newest player before Sunday's game -- but that hasn't stopped him from coming out gunning in his first NBA action since returning from a stint in China.
Coming off the bench in the first quarter against the Mavericks, Smith jacked up five three-pointers in less than six minutes, draining three:
It was a bit surprising to see, but should it have been? Smith has long been one of the most fearless gunners in the league, and even though he's playing his first NBA game of the year, it's not like he gathered any rust playing overseas. Combined with the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the sudden availability of Baron Davis and the imminent return of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks suddenly have a lot of tools at their disposal as they attempt to climb from their current No. 8 spot in the East.
Smith's outburst helped the Knicks build a 32-20 lead over the Mavericks. With a couple of minutes left in the first half, that lead has dwindled to 46-40.