J.R. Smith: How Things Change In A Year
It was only a year and a half ago during the 2013 NBA playoffs when R&B princess Rihanna took to Instagram to out J.R. Smith saying, “Nobody don’t want that desert thirsty n***a!! He f**kin up cus his a** be hung-over from clubbing every night during playoffs!!” Despite the intense profanity and derogatory language from the Barbadian singer, the harsh words almost seemed warranted. Smith, who was the 2013 6th Man of The Year, was having a stellar season until he elbowed Celtics guard Jason Terry, resulting in a one game playoff suspension. Since then, J.R. ‘Swish’ finished out the postseason shooting a horrid 28.6%. Well that’s all soon to change—with his new digs in Cleveland we’re destined to see a more focused J.R. (never thought I’d ever say, write, or even read those words).
In an interview with NBA.com’s David Aldridge, J.R. describes what it’s like for him to play in “The Land,” saying, “I think this is the best situation for me, ’cause there’s nothing but basketball. There’s nothing you expect but basketball. There’s nothing, there’s no going out, there’s no late nights. There’s video games, basketball and basketball. So it’s a great thing.” Some mature words from 29 year-old Earl Joseph Smith III (Haha swear that’s his real name).
Although it may sound all too familiar, J.R’s remarks on Cleveland are far from the infamous comments made by Joakim Noah 5 years ago. J.R. is motivated and excited for the opportunity he has to finally compete for a championship. For a piece that seemed like a ‘throw in’ in the 3-team deal, J.R is making his mark on the starting lineup for the Cavs in a big way. For now, Cav’s fans should just be thankful there’s no Greenhouse nightclub in Ohio.
Lately his performance lives up to the rhetoric. Smith has been shooting 40% from behind the arc during the Cavaliers current 6 game win streak. Averaging 14.6 points per game since the trade, J.R. Smith is an effective floor spacer for Kyrie and Lebron to create, and can be depended on to hit the open three when the opportunity presents itself.
On speaking about J.R’s success, Lebron mentioned, “He’s a confident guy, confident in his ability and rubs off on a lot of guys on this team. For us to have such a weapon like him to consistently make shots is huge for us. I was excited when we were able to acquire him.” Encouraging words from The King, ay?