OAKLAND — J.R. Smith summed up the theme of many of the Cavaliers the past couple of days, that they beat themselves more than the Warriors beat them in Game 1.
Then Smith took it to a whole other level. A ridiculous level.
“Watching basketball throughout the course of the season, you obviously know they’re very good,” Smith said Saturday before the Cavaliers’ practiced. “But one thing about us, it’s all about us. If we take care of what we’re supposed to take care of, it doesn’t matter if it’s the ’96 Bulls, it doesn’t matter. We would win. We just gotta worry about us, understand that no matter what they do, if we do what we’re supposed to do, they can’t beat us.”
Not the Jordan/LeBron thing again, just make it stop.
Smith was on fire with his comments Saturday. At one point he was asked about the Cavaliers wanting to get more physical and muddy the game up on Sunday, but the reporter phrased it “dirtying up the game.” Smith had fun with that.
“Dirtying up the game? I don’t know about that. They got one guy who keeps kicking people in the nuts. I don’t know about that,” Smith said. “But we won’t dirty up the game. We just play physical. Some people don’t like physicality, and that’s what it is. But we just got to play our game and the way we know how to play, and that’s what’s been successful for us.”
The game is going to get more physical, the days of the Warriors getting uncontested layups are over. Whether the Cavaliers playing better is enough remains to be seen.