I’m sure the executives at ABC feel the same way.
Right now everyone is talking about the Golden State Warriors — including the last team to beat them in a game, the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was last June, before the Warriors rattled off three straight wins to close out the NBA Finals, followed by 15 Golden State wins to start this season. LeBron James has said he wished his team was as hungry as the Warriors.
What J.R. Smith wants is a rematch with Golden State in the Finals. Here is what Smith said, speaking to Dave McMenamin of ESPN at a charity event helping homeless in Cleveland.
I hope they are the team. I wouldn’t want it no other way, because we get another chance at it for one and to beat the team that beat you, I think that’s a sweeter feeling. For me, personally, I don’t really look at it as not having the best series or whatever. I mean, I’ve had shots fall against Atlanta in the Eastern Conference finals and there was praise. And then you miss shots and there’s a downfall. So it’s a give-and-take. I wasn’t the only person out there missing. It wasn’t like I was out there playing one-on-five, but it’s cool. I’ll take that. I just got to get better every day.
In case you forgot, Smith shot 31.2 percent through the Finals (averaging 11 points a game), and never getting going for a full game against the Golden State defense (the was riding a phunkee duck around the arena after games). With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sidelined, Smith was counted on to step up and provide some offense and complement LeBron, but none of that happened. You can see why Smith would want redemption.
It seems a little early to be thinking Finals, but consider this Smith’s letter to Santa for what he wants this season. It seems possible Smith could eventually get his wish. However, we are not even five miles into the marathon yet, a lot can change between now and June (plus, the Spurs have looked impressive, too).