J.R. Smith: ‘I’d run through a brick wall’ for Cavaliers coach David Blatt

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Does LeBron James fully support Cavaliers coach David Blatt?

Check back later.

Cleveland players take a lot of their cues from LeBron, who has praised Blatt. But J.R. Smith goes above and beyond LeBron’s precedent with Blatt.

Smith, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:

“First things first, before we get into basketball, Coach really cares about me as a person,” Smith said when asked about why being a Cavalier has been so good for him. “That’s one of the first coaches I’ve had that actually cared about me off the court more than on the court, so it was that much easier for me to play for him and give my all because I know he cares about me as a person.

“When you have someone like that behind you it’s so much easier just to play. I’d run through a brick wall for Coach.”

Blatt has used Smith well on the court, setting up the sharpshooter for open 3-pointers. LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love obviously draw attention away from Smith, but Blatt has taken advantage well.

That Blatt is so influential off the court too is very impressive.

Blatt improved significantly throughout his rookie NBA season, culminating in an extremely well-coached NBA Finals without Love and Irving. He might just be getting the hang of this.