The Cavaliers Are Actually Having To Ask J.R. Smith To Shoot More

06.04.17 11 months ago

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Game 1 of the NBA Finals was not the best offensive effort from the Cavaliers, as they struggled to find open looks against the swarming Golden State defense in the 113-91 loss. Cleveland’s offensive rating for the game was an 89.2 as the Cavs had more turnovers (20) than assists (15) and shot a dismal 34.9 percent from the field (35.5 percent from three-point range).

For Sunday night’s Game 2, the Cavaliers need their offense to be much crisper, moving the ball with conviction and for shooters to take open looks when they present themselves rather than hesitate. The role players for the Cavaliers — the ones they rely on to give them added punch from three-point range — struggled mightily in Game 1. J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and Deron Williams were a combined 1-for-11 shooting (1-of-7 from three). Smith was the only one to make a basket of that trio, but only taking four shots in 28 minutes showed how much he was taken out of his normal game.

The Cavs need Smith and the rest of the role players to provide a lift in Game 2, which is why the Cleveland coaching staff has had to do something few ever anticipated they would have to: tell J.R. Smith to shoot the ball more. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, that has been the message from Tyronn Lue and the rest of the staff to Smith over the past two days.

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