The Cavaliers swept the Raptors, but one Cleveland player didn’t escape the series unscathed.
As part of Lue’s challenge to Smith to guard DeRozan, the Raptors’ top scorer who looks to draw fouls, Smith owed his coach $100 every time he jumped for one of DeRozan’s pump fake.
Iman Shumpert said all players were subjected to fines for jumping on a fake by DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, who missed the final two games of the series with a sprained ankle. But Lue said Smith was the only one who jumped (and paid).
$100 isn’t necessarily a lot to Smith, who made $12.8 million this season. But if I ran the players’ union, I’d protest this on principle. Lue should find ways to motivate his players other than taking their money.
On another note: This is a reason Toronto’s offense keeps faltering in the playoffs. DeRozan’s and Lowry’s craftiness is tough to handle when facing a few teams each week, each with distinctive strengths and weaknesses, in the regular season. When seeing DeRozan and Lowry repeatedly in a row, their moves are easier to solve. I doubt the Lowry and DeRozan went four straight games without getting multiple bites on their pump fakes. That even Cleveland’s suspect defense did it only once is telling.