Cavs guard J.R. Smith also had mental lapse with Knicks in 2014
Cleveland Cavaliers court jester — I mean — guard J.R. Smith had what is called a lapse in judgement in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors. He rebounded a miss with the game tied late in the fourth quarter and dribbled to half court, looking as if he was trying to play keepaway.
LeBron James motioned to him in what has become a very popular meme overnight, but it was too late. The game went to overtime, and the rest is history.
In video footage, it appeared as though Smith’s explanation to James about what happened was he thought the Cavaliers were ahead. Coach Tyron Lue confirmed that in the postgame press conference. But in the locker room, Smith told reporters that he knew the game was tied.
Regardless, that mistake was costly for the Cavs, who had a good opportunity of stealing Game 1.
If any of this sounds somewhat familiar to NBA fans, it’s because it is. Smith made a similar mistake more than four years ago in a game against the Houston Rockets while he was a member of the New York Knicks.
From Frank Isola, then of the New York Daily News:
By the time J.R. Smith took a peek at the scoreboard, it was already too late. The unpredictable and sometimes careless shooting guard had already launched a quick 3-pointer with the game tied and the shot clock turned off. Sound familiar?
“Honestly, I thought we were down two,” Smith said following the Knicks’ crushing 102-100 loss to the Houston Rockets Friday night. “I shot the ball, I started hearing Tyson (Chandler) saying ‘no, no, no don’t take a shot.’ But by that time it was already released.”
Smith admitted his blunder that time, but not on Thursday night. Interesting.