J.R. Smith's minutes for Knicks on Mike Woodson's chopping block

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said his Sixth Man of the Year could see reduced minutes if he continues to struggle.

J.R. Smith hasn't been the same player since he was suspended in the heart of the first-round series against the Boston Celtics, and Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday that the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year could see a reduced role, according to ESPN New York.

"I feel good about the guys that come in off that bench, just like I feel good about J.R.," Woodson added. "But if he's struggling and I feel the need [that] I've got to pull him, then I will do that as the head coach and then other guys have got to come in and step up and play."

Smith missed a Game 4 opportunity to sweep Boston after elbowing Celtics guard Jason Terry in the face. He returned with a 3-for-14 shooting performance and has shot 26 percent in the four games since. Only once did Smith shoot better than 27 percent; that 5-for-13 performance to close out Boston could hardly be called efficient.

Woodson did say Smith is contributing with redeeming defense and rebounding for the undersized Knicks. Add in the fact that Smith has shown the ability to hit big shots in clutch situations -- even during bad games -- and it's unlikely Smith's minutes dip a large amount from the 31.9 minutes per game during the 2013 postseason.

After a 3-for-15 shooting outing during the Knicks' Game 2 win against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, it remains unclear whether Woodson feels pressured to find answers elsewhere. He said he wouldn't "kick him to the curb," and the only options behind Smith include the injury-hampered Steve Novak, stretch forward Chris Copeland or lateseason signee Quentin Richardson.

With the potential for forward Amare Stoudemire to return from a knee surgery in Game 3 on Saturday, the Knicks could theoretically look to play bigger, which might be another avenue in pulling down Smith's minutes.

More from SB Nation:

3 reasons the Bulls can beat the Heat again

Garnett is Boston's first domino

Ziller: Why should Rose trust the Bulls?

Flannery: NBA playoffs are the stuff of dreams

Video: Give Steph a Big Mac | #Lookit

Longform: How Paul George evolved into a star

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.