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j strong smith

J. R. Smith

Earl Smith III, known as J.R. Smith (born September 9, 1985 in Freehold Borough, New Jersey), is an American National Basketball Association player currently with the Denver Nuggets.

High school

Smith played at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, New Jersey, and at St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. He averaged over 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists during his career there. In the fall of 2003, Smith signed a letter of intent to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

NBA

In April 2004, Smith decided to forgo college and make himself eligible for the NBA Draft. He was selected eighteenth overall in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets—one of nine players who were drafted that year straight out of high school. In his rookie season, he averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

Smith participated in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Competition in 2005, finishing behind Amare Stoudemire and the eventual winner, Josh Smith.

On July 12, 2006, the Hornets formally traded Smith and forward–center P.J. Brown to the Chicago Bulls for center Tyson Chandler. On July 19, 2006 Smith was traded again, this time to the Denver Nuggets for guard Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-round draft picks.

On December 8, 2006, in a win over the Miami Heat, Smith recorded a career-high 37 points. He also had a career-high seven 3-pointers, all of which were made in the first half.

On December 16, 2006, Smith was involved in the Knicks-Nuggets brawl. He was suspended for 10 games.

On February 20, 2007, Smith injured his left knee which required knee surgery. He missed 3-4 weeks.

On October 13, 2007, Smith was involved in an incident at a Denver nightclub. The Nuggets suspended him for the first three regular season games of the NBA 2007-2008 season for his role in the incident.

On February 22, 2008, Smith scored a new career high with 43 points on 15-25 shooting, including 8-14 from three-point range in a 135-121 losing effort to the Chicago Bulls.

On July 25, 2008, Smith was added to the Team USA Basketball select team to help the senior team prepare for the Olympics.

First trip to the playoffs

Smith's first trip to the playoffs during the 2006-2007 season with the Denver Nuggets was viewed by many as widely disappointing. Smith, a 39% 3-point shooter during the regular season, failed to connect on any three-point shots in the first four games and also was criticized for poor decision-making by coach George Karl. After game four, Karl informed reporters of his plan to bench Smith for all of game 5. Karl said, "He's done," and explained his frustrations over Smith's poor judgment to shoot a three late in the game, "I have no idea what planet that came from." Karl told the Associated Press that he had drawn up the play to give the ball to either Allen Iverson or Carmelo Anthony. Karl did not stop there and continued venting over Smith's poor play, "And then, of course the one with eight seconds to go, from 50 feet, I just love the dignity of the game being insulted right in front of me.

Second trip to the playoffs

Smith had a better showing in his second trip to the playoffs during a first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 27.0 minutes, averaging 18.3 points per game on 53.5% shooting. He also had a 31.8% three-point shooting percentage. Although the Nuggets were swept in the first round, Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant said in a postgame interview that, "J. R. is a good young player. He was a lot to handle."

Car accidents

On February 2, 2007, Smith and teammate Carmelo Anthony were involved in a car accident. Neither player was injured in the collision. The only detail released by the team was that the car J. R. was driving belonged to Anthony.

On June 9, 2007, Smith and two passengers were injured in a car accident on Stagecoach Road in Millstone Township, New Jersey when the SUV he was driving collided with another car. Smith and a passenger, Andre Bell, were ejected from the vehicle at around 5:30 p.m. Smith's vehicle appeared to have gone through a stop sign and collided with the other car. Smith was taken to Jersey Shore University Hospital. Bell suffered serious head wounds before being pronounced dead on the night of June 11. Smith, the second passenger, and the driver of the other car did not suffer life-threatening injuries. Smith and Bell were not wearing seatbelts at the time.

Smith's driving record included five suspensions in eight months, but was "in good standing" at the time of the crash in New Jersey. He was required to pay restoration fees and fines. Smith totaled 27 points against his record from April 2005 to January 2006, including eight violations on seven different days. Five citations were for speeding. His most recent suspension was February 7, 2006.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

|- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | New Orleans | 76 || 56 || 24.5 || .394 || .288 || .689 || 2.0 || 1.9 || .7 || .1 || 10.3 |- | align="left" | 2005–06 | align="left" | New Orleans/Oklahoma City | 55 || 25 || 18.0 || .393 || .371 || .822 || 2.0 || 1.1 || .7 || .1 || 7.7 |- | align="left" | 2006–07 | align="left" | Denver | 63 || 24 || 23.3 || .441 || .390 || .810 || 2.3 || 1.4 || .8 || .1 || 13.0 |- | align="left" | 2007–08 | align="left" | Denver | 74 || 0 || 19.2 || .461 || .403 || .719 || 2.1 || 1.7 || .8 || .2 || 12.3 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 268 || 105 || 21.4 || .425 || .368 || .749 || 2.1 || 1.6 || .8 || .1 || 10.9 |}

Playoffs

|- | align="left" | 2006–07 | align="left" | Denver | 4 || 0 || 11.8 || .273 || .000 || 1.000 || 2.3 || .5 || 1.0 || .2 || 4.5 |- | align="left" | 2007–08 | align="left" | Denver | 4 || 0 || 27.0 || .535 || .318 || .833 || 1.8 || 1.8 || 1.0 || .0 || 18.3 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 8 || 0 || 19.4 || .446 || .206 || .867 || 2.0 || 1.1 || 1.0 || .1 || 11.4 |}

Notes

External links

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