Cavs have confidence in JR - Lue backs struggling Smith
Tyronn Lue says the Cleveland Cavaliers retain full confidence in JR Smith despite his toils in the opening two games of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Smith appeared to suffer a brain fade in a dramatic conclusion to game one when, with the scores level in the final seconds, he grabbed an offensive rebound from George Hill's free throw but rather than go for the basket, ran the ball out as the buzzer sounded.
The Cavs went on to lose in overtime and on Sunday the Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 with a 122-103 victory at Oracle Center, Smith contributing just five points as Stephen Curry stole the show with a record-breaking nine three pointers in a single Finals match.
In his post-match media conference Cavs head coach Lue was asked if he thought Smith had been affected by the error at the end of the opening match and the crowd's treatment of him in game two.
"I don't think so. Not too much affects JR. I don't think so," Lue replied.
"He made shots. He had some good looks he didn't make, but throughout the course of the game I don't he think he really got shots in a row to kind of get into a rhythm. So that was kind of tough on him.
"But we have confidence in JR, and he's just got to continue taking his shots."
Asked for an assessment of his performance on Sunday, Smith responded: "Terrible. I've got to shoot the ball better, I've got to defend better and be more vocal on defense."