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J.R. Smith suspended 5 games for substance abuse violation

The New York Knicks guard will miss five games for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy.


New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been suspended five games for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy, the league announced Friday.

A five-game suspension means that Smith did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports. Terrel Harris of the Portland Trail Blazers received a similar suspension earlier this summer. It's likely, though not confirmed, that Smith tested positive for marijuana.

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Smith averaged 18.1 points, 2.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game last season but struggled during the postseason. His scoring dipped four points per game and his shooting percentage went from 42 percent during the regular season to 33 percent in 11 playoff contests.

A free agent this summer, Smith re-signed with New York on a three-year, $17 million deal that became controversial when the guard underwent a knee procedure shortly after inking the new contract. This summer, Smith has kept himself in the headlines, most recently going at Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce in the media and guaranteeing the Knicks would bring home a championship trophy by the end of the 2013-14 season.

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