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J.R. Smith benched against Heat, wonders if he's part of Knicks future

By Royce Young | NBA writer

J.R. Smith feels pretty good about the Knicks next season.    (USATSI)
J.R. Smith didn't play against the Heat. (USATSI)

The J.R. Smith saga took another turn on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Mike Woodson didn't play him.

After being fined $50,000 by the league for untying opponents' shoelaces on the free throw line, which brought on heavy criticism from his coach and was part of the Knicks exploring trade options, Smith was stuck on the end of the bench against Miami.

Asked after the game if he sees himself as part of the team's future, Smith responded with probably too more candor.

"Honestly, I don't even know at this point," Smith told reporters. "At one point I was for sure and now it's rocking the boat. But it is what it is. It's part of the business."

For most of the first half, Smith sat on the end of the team's bench, even past the injured Metta World Peace and didn't actively participate in timeout huddles. But as the Knicks finished off the Heat, the camera caught Smith jumping and clapping enthusiastically on the bench.

What happens next for Smith and the Knicks? Will he play in New York's next game against the 76ers on Saturday? Hard to know, because Woodson basically no-commented every question about Smith after the game Thursday.

Until the next turn.

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