As the Nuggets stumble toward what looks to be a surefire first-round playoff loss to the Utah Jazz, J.R. Smith is turning to his usual soapbox: His Twitter feed.
That's not always a good thing, given criticism of his allegedly gang-friendly spelling last year, plus more recent incidents involving him calling out Kobe Bryant and taking too much delight in an April Fool's Day prank targeting Kenyon Martin.
This time around, though, he's on the right track with this tweet: "You play selfish you lose selfish that's all I'm saying about the game!" But saying it and doing it are two different things.
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It's not exactly news that sharing the basketball is the best way to control the contest and get easier shots -- but the Nuggets haven't been doing it against the Jazz. Instead, there's been far too many examples of the team dribbling away half the shot clock before relying on Carmelo Anthony or Chauncey Billups to create offense on their own. And while both of them are more than capable of doing it, the Jazz has effectively countered the strategy by moving the ball around and playing the sort of defense the Nugs manage only sporadically.
Of course, Smith is one of the worst offenders when it comes to selfish play, frequently flinging up crazy prayers instead of looking for his teammates. So it's good news that he's acknowledging the importance of dishing. But he's got to do it, not just tweet about it.
As for other recent notes, they've included, "Make all eat ya words!," which he hopefully will, and "cant stop thinking bout this game coming up!," another good sign. Obviously, the Nuggets are done if they don't beat Utah on Wednesday -- but if they don't win the right way, a victory is likely to only delay the inevitable.
In other words, no selfishness.