“True Testament to Him Growing”: J.R. Smith Highlights Big Improvements in LeBron James From His Time in Cleveland

Published 07/17/2020, 3:53 PM EDT


Los Angeles Lakers are clearly among the most hyped team in the NBA right now. Whatever happens with Lakers on and off the court draws a lot of attention. After the addition of J. R. Smith to the roster, a lot of eyes are on how LeBron James would play alongside him.

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Speaking on the same, J. R. Smith said,  “Before, he’s always been so focused on his drive and winning and stuff like that, but I feel like that pressure is off his shoulders, and he can just be him. He don’t have to try to orchestrate the offense or the defense or what somebody did wrong, he can let the coaches do their job, and I think that’s a true testament to him growing.

“I’ve watched interviews when people try to say he’s not coachable because he knows so much about the game, but he’s probably the most coachable person out there just because he gives you his side or his opinion and he might be right.

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“More than anything I just think he’s so much more patient in his delivery and how he goes about the process of the game. If he sees something that he don’t like of course he’s going to say something, but I think he gives people more of a chance and an opportunity to voice their opinions and do their job.”

What to expect from JR Smith

When the season starts in Orlando on July 30th, the Lakers would have to use their first eight matches to find the right combinations. Avery Bradley was a regular starter for the team. Replacing Bradley would be a tough task for the team.

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However, there are various options that the team has. They can experiment with Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook or J. R. Smith. Smith can double as a good three point shooter and defensive powerhouse. He is a veteran in the league and been in crunch playoffs moments before.

To make things more interesting, he has had most of his playoffs experience with the King himself. LeBron James has always played very well along side shooters. He likes finding the open man and passing the ball out. Considering Smith has a career 37.3% three point shooter, he will definitely help LeBron make the play.

The relationship between LeBron James and J. R. Smith

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We all remember what happened  in the game 1 of the 2017-18 NBA finals. J. R. Smith made a blunder and LeBron James became a meme. Despite that, LeBron welcomed J.R. to the Lakers by posting on Instagram “Right back at it like we never left”From what it looks, they both have moved passed the issues of their past and look to reconcile.

No matter what, J.R. played a big role when Cleveland Cavaliers made a historic comeback from a 3-1 deficit and won the title in 2016. He averaged an impressive 10.6 points per game shooting just above 35% from the three point line. He also did a great defensive job on the other end of the floor, tackling Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. LeBron will definitely welcome him to the team and make good use of his skills.

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Ajay Gopal

3 articles

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