As time is running down in the first half J.R. Smith receives a pass and shoots a wide-open three, brick. The Warriors get the rebound and throw an outlet to Steph Curry. But instead of staying in front of Steph, to make sure he doesn’t get an easy shot off, Smith gambles for the steal and whiffs past Steph. Curry then gets an open 30-foot shot, which is like a lay-up to him. Of course, he makes it as the buzzer sounds. There are six points that Smith had allowed in a very short amount of time.
George Hill was on the free throw line and the Cavs were down by one with 4.6 seconds left. First free-throw, nothing but net, tie ball game. The second free throw is short. Cavs J.R. Smith gets the offensive rebound, instead of putting up a shot Smith dribbles the ball out to about 30 feet out. As time runs out Smith throws a wild pass to George Hill and then the buzzer sounds. Smith blew the game. He turns to look at LeBron and seems to mutter “I didn’t know.” No one is too sure what Smith was thinking, as during the post-game press conference he said he knew it was a tie game, but he expected a timeout to be called. If that was the case, why didn’t Smith call the timeout himself? Needless to say, he choked.
Smith blew the game and there is no way around it. It was obvious that LeBron James was disappointed in Smith, during his post-game press conference. This is not good as James is practically the general manager of the Cavs and can make sure Smith is not on the roster next year. However, James has an expiring contract and happens to be really close friends to Smith.
I doubt the Cavs will keep Smith on the team next year unless James is still on the roster. LeBron will likely want Smith on his team next year, even though that is not the smartest decision. Smith averaged 8.3 points a game on 40% shooting. Smith is known for his three-point shooting as he is one of the best spark plugs off the bench, but this season he shot 37.5% from three while he attempted almost five a game. If the Cavs happen to keep Smith on the team next season, I doubt he will get many minutes. He is a solid player to have in your rotation as like a seventh or eighth man off the bench, but he does not deserve the 32 minutes per game he is receiving right now during the playoffs.
I cannot say exactly what will be next for Smith and the Cavs, as it is a blurry future for the whole Cavs roster. As the team was assembled to help LeBron succeed and if he leaves like he is expected to do, I doubt most of the team will stay.