Lue has heard from a myriad of voices urging him to cut ties with Smith as Cleveland has struggled this season, but he says that would be wrong. "People saying quit on JR, give up on JR, it's not right". Sometimes your shot is going to come and go - that's just part of the game.
"There were times when I wanted to go to [Lue] and be like, 'Listen, man, I'm not playing well".
He averaged a measly 7.6 points a game in January, shooting at a 31.7 percent clip from three-point range and 37.3 percent overall.
Right now, the Cavaliers are third out east at 34-22.
Donovan said Monday he would have to check with the team's medical personnel before making a determination but both were full participants in Monday's practice.
Talk like that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of even the most confident and secure of National Basketball Association players, but Smith admitted that he was plenty anxious on that fateful Thursday that saw six of his teammates shipped off to other teams, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. "I definitely want to, but the fact of not having to is the best part". Without that game, Smith has gone 23-for-38 (.605) and 14-of-26 (.538) in five of the Cavs' last six games.
Lue originally said he only planned to start Osman against Atlanta while the Cavs waited for their four new players to complete the onboarding process.
For all the positive attention he has received, the wide-open fast-break dunk the 6-foot-8 Osman missed in the second quarter of Sunday's win over the Celtics earned him notoriety of another kind. "It really set the tone for us early".
"Once I seen how open the lane was I figured, 'The hell with it, why not? Why not take me out?'" said Smith, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
After going 4-12 starting with a Christmas loss at Golden State, the Cavs have won six of their last nine.
"With the new guys coming in and still having I would say somewhat the core of what we've had the last three years, the sun is definitely starting to come out in Cleveland for sure", he said. "It's a process. We've just got to keep playing well, keep getting better and hit our stride in April". "A game like yesterday afternoon is definitely well-needed".
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