J.R. a product of Knicks' environment

Carmelo Anthony could flex his considerable in-house muscles here, too, and the league source said Smith's pattern of behavior "says as much about Anthony's lack of leadership as anything else. A coach needs cooperation from his team when something gets in the way of winning, as this clearly has."

If Melo has been too supportive of Smith in his public comments, he's only following his organization's lead. The Knicks gave a three-year contract to a guy who needs to be kept on one-year deals, and now, as they say in the business, they can't stop him, they can only hope to contain him.

The Knicks are trying to play the victim here, but they're the ones who created the J.R. Smith they now confront. In the end, they have a better chance of beating Miami or Indiana in seven than they do of ever getting this run-amok player back in line.

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