When Sports Illustrated created their Top 100 players in the league before the start of the season they placed J.R Smith at #95 and said,
Even an acid-tripping Ken Kesey couldn’t have dreamed up all of the horrible, damaging and embarrassing twists and turns to Smith’s 2013-14 season, which just so happened to occur immediately after he signed a three-year, $19.5 million deal.
Surprise knee surgery. Drug suspension. Shoelace stunts. Twitter threats. Those were the major headlines; his individual numbers weren’t any prettier for a 37-45 team. Smith regressed as a scorer, rebounder and foul-drawer. His PER and Win Shares both took noticeable hits too.
That was the situation in New York, but since being traded to the Cleveland – a city not known for an exciting night life – Smith has been an angel!
“This the best situation for me, ’cause there’s nothing but basketball,” Smith said. “There’s nothing you expect but basketball. There’s nothing. There’s no going out. There’s no late nights.”
Ok, calling Smith, who threw a punch in the 1st round, an angel is a little bit of a stretch but he, along with Shumpert who came with him in the trade to the Cavs, have been on their “best behavior” and playing a major role during the Cavs’ championship run.
JR SMITH 2014/15 HIGHLIGHTS