J.R. Smith had the best playoff performance of his career in the Cavs’ Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 win over the Hawks on Wednesday. He shot 8-for-12 from three-point range and scored a playoff career-high 28 points. In Game 1, he shot 6-for-9 on contested field-goal attempts and 4-for-7 on uncontested ones, per NBA.com’s player-tracking data. When asked about his shot selection, which has been controversial his whole career, this is what he had to say:
J.R. Smith: “I’d rather take a contested shot than an open shot any day … It’s kind of boring when you take open shots”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 21, 2015
That’s…exactly what you’d expect Smith to say. It’s certainly indicative of the way he’s played his whole career, and it’s what’s made him so controversial over the years. But since coming to Cleveland in January, he seems to have found a groove, and since coming back from his two-game suspension in the last round, he’s made some huge shots for the Cavs.