Wednesday , Jan , 13 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

George Karl Tells JR Smith to Keep Shooting in Slump

On Tuesday, coach George Karl was asked if, strategically, he would ever change up a player’s mentality and tell him to shoot less.

"No," he said. "Yes, you want the mentality to be team-oriented, but the options sometimes are taking him out of the game or run different plays and put him in different places. And my decision is J.R. is too valuable to take out of a game. . . . Not only is he missing 3s, but he’s missing wide-open 3s.

Hopefully, it’s just a slump. Statistically, J.R. has played better after the all-star break, so maybe we’re hoping it’s just his personality taking time. And being suspended for the first seven games probably pushed it a little longer."

After Tuesday’s practice preparing for tonight’s game against Orlando, Smith said he is trying to perfect his touch on the ball.

"I’ve got a certain spacing I like my hand to be on the ball, and lately it hasn’t been on the sweet spot, so I’m trying to do that in the games as well as in practice," Smith said.