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George Karl, J.R. Smith having annual head-butting session

New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets

the New York Knicks the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Doug Pensinger

Every fall the leaves change color, the air gets crisper, our minds drift to eating turkey and pumpkin pie….

And George Karl and J.R. Smith butt heads. Like bighorn sheep. Over style of play, decision making, what color is the new black this fall, fitting in the system, the ending of LOST, defense, what direction the sun rises and sets, basically anything and everything.

This season Karl has an option, a hammer to use — rookie Gary Forbes. The kid has been playing well off the bench — he has a higher shooting percentage, grabs more rebounds and has a higher PER than Smith — so Karl has felt free to keep Smith on said bench. In the last two Nuggets games, Smith has played less than two minutes total. The Denver Post asked Karl about it.

“I think J.R. knows exactly where we’re at,” Karl said Wednesday. “I think right now, it’s J.R. and me, and I think J.R. should understand what’s going on. I’ve got a kid playing better than he is playing. And I don’t have minutes to share.”

This will end about how it always does, Smith will get some minutes at some point, play smart and make some very athletic plays that Forbes would be hard-pressed to match. Then he will be back in, for a while at least. Well, that or Denver will ship Smith out of town this time around. One or the other.