J. R. Smith had a modest goal for his Knicks debut, which proved to be earlier, longer and more resounding than he anticipated.
“The first thing I was thinking was, ‘Don’t air-ball your first shot,’ ” he said, laughing. “You definitely won’t live that down in New York City.”
Smith was born in Freehold, N.J., and played at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, so he knows a little about the intensity of New York basketball. It took him little time to get acclimated Sunday, as he scored 15 points off the bench in a 104-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.