New York Knicks shooting guard J. R. Smith has admitted he feels uncomfortable playing in a protective mask.
Smith played his first game with a mask attached to his face on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies in an encounter in which the Knicks lost their third consecutive game.
Mike Woodson has stated he is against Smith wearing a mask as he sustained the same injury during his playing days but refused to protect his face.
And Smith has revealed he is finding it hard to get acclimatised to wearing a mask whilst playing.
Speaking to the New York Post: “It’s uncomfortable, but I’m playing with it.
“I got to deal with it. It’s not better than I thought. It’s worse."
Woodson believes Smith struggled for form against the Grizzlies because the mask affected his level of performance.
When asked if he thought the mask had a bearing on Smith's display, Woodson replied: “[The mask] probably had something to do with it.
“He didn’t shoot it particularly well tonight. I don’t know what it’s like to where a mask but he’s got to and hopefully soon it will become second nature to him."
The New York Knicks look like they could miss out on a playoff place unless they can somehow change their fortunes around in the next couple of weeks.
Woodson's Knicks have a chance of making up for their recent defeat tonight as the Eastern Conference franchise face the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.