Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been MIA during the NBA Finals. After averaging 12 points in the previous three rounds of the playoffs, Smith has scored eight points in two games against the Golden State Warriors, and he’s shooting 33 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from 3.
It’s not like Smith to disappear in back-to-back games. Could it be that the hand injury he suffered in Game 1 is affecting him?
This is what happened to J.R. Smith’s hand while diving to the floor for a loose ball in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/fQHJsKGhrR
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 8, 2016
Smith told reporters after Game 1 he was “alright”, but that’s one nasty floor burn. Handling a basketball and shooting with that type of injury must be difficult. It’s hard to do anything with several layers of skin missing from your hand.
Game 3 is Wednesday, as the Cavaliers try to prevent the series from going 3-0 in favor of the Warriors. With Kevin Love out, Cleveland will need its role players to step up, and that includes Smith. But with that injured hand, we might see him struggle again.