Tomasson also gets Coach George Karl’s take on the incident. Chris writes, “Asked if Smith not playing had anything to do with the week’s events, Karl said, ‘I don’t think so, but you can write whatever you want.’”
Sure, George… We all believe you, but at least you’re not going to talk about it in the media after two preseason games! But just to reassure you that George Karl isn’t a completely changed man he goes on to elaborate on J.R.’s performance in the Nuggets loss to the Pistons and said, "I don't remember (the points) as much as I remember his mistakes."
So what can we take from all this convoluted mixed messaging? I think that while George Karl isn’t going to make a mountain out of a mole hill, J.R. Smith is really toeing a thin line with Karl. It is clear to see in the box scores of the first three games that J.R. has some serious heat on him from Wafer and Linas Kleiza. There has even been more and more serious talk about “finding” a position to utilize Linas in because of the high number of minutes ‘Melo is set to most likely play at the small forward position. And if any one is keeping track of Wafer’s performances in a head-to-head capacity with J.R. Smith. Wafer’s averages for the first three preseason games are 14 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and less than one turnover a game. J.R.’s averages for both games that he has appeared in are 14 points, two rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 3.5 turnovers a game. Oh, and are you wondering how George feels about Wafer’s defense? In the same article, George comments, “I thought Von was awful defensively in the first half and pretty damn good in the second half.”