New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith credits his on-court success to a litany of off-court changes. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
It's only been five games, but the New York Knicks' J.R. Smith has taken his game to a different level so far this season. He is scoring 18.2 points per game, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, and hitting an astounding 72.2 percent from 3-point range.
What's the reason for Smith's offensive explosion? Smith said it started with changing his off-the-court habits.
"I'm not going to lie, New York City nightlife last year pretty much got to me," Smith told reporters Thursday, according to Newsday. "I was going out pretty much every other night, just not focused on the task at hand. This year is definitely different."
Smith has become the Knicks' primary weapon off the bench and has been the team's best player next to Carmelo Anthony. Smith credits it to a different kind of "energy."
"Every day I'm getting into the gym, getting in as much work as I can," he said. "A lot of times previously in my career, I had negative energy coming into the gym, not wanting to be there, joking around, goofing off. This year, it's been more serious. I understand every road trip we take is a work trip, not just a play trip. You come and work hard. If I work hard, maybe the next guy will see me work hard."