Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Rihanna might be coming after J.R. Smith on Instagram, but he’s not taking the bait.
“I’m not worried about Instagram, I’m worried about the playoffs,” Smith said after going 4-for-11 for 13 points in the Knicks’ 85-75 win in Game 5 that kept their season alive for at least one more game.
Rihanna took to Instagram to say that Smith’s hard-partying ways were the reason he has struggled mightly since Game 5 in Boston.
She wrote that Smith is struggling because “his a** be hungover from clubbing every night during playoffs.”
The complete Instagram — in which she appeared to be responding to someone else — read: “f— you and your wack a** team!! Nobody want that desert thirsty n—-!! He f—– up cus his ass be hungover from clubbing every night during playoffs!!”
Rihanna and Smith have been seen at various clubs in New York in recent days and were rumored to be dating last year.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he just “got wind” of the situation before Game 5.
“Seriously you guys follow that,” he said. “I don’t know much about it. I got wind of it when I walked in the building today. But it’s out there. It is what it is. It has no bearing on this game tonight.”
After the game, Woodson said he continues to have faith in Smith.
“I thought he was focused,” he said. “I thought he did a lot of good things. Defensively, he had his hands full when he has to go against [Paul] George when I take Iman [Shumpert] out….When he takes shots, we gotta hope he makes them.”
Smith’s teammate and buddy, Carmelo Anthony, said he hopes Smith can remain focused heading into a must-win Game 6 Saturday in Indianapolis.
Indiana is 5-0 at home in the postseason, including two wins over the Knicks that weren’t especially close.
“It’s encouraging to see J.R. just playing basketball and putting everything else to the side at this point,” Anthony said.
“I’d love to see him just really focus in on what’s the task at hand, it’s playing basketball, helping his teammates win basketball games, and everything else is irrelevant at this point in time.
“It seems like he’s starting to find his way a little bit, it seems like he’s getting back to himself. For us to be successful, I’ve said this all year long, J.R.’s a big part of our team’s success.”
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Photo: Daily News
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.