Video: J.R. Smith receives a sarcastic standing ovation, MVP chant
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith’s Game 1 blunder will not be forgotten anytime soon. While the Cavs’ fan base will look back to it in agony, the Golden State Warriors’ supporters are hailing him as their team’s savior — albeit sarcastically.
That cannot be more evident in the early stages of Game 2 based on the Oracle Arena crowd’s reception of the mercurial shooting guard. First, Smith was given a warm welcome upon introduction.
It doesn’t end there. While taking a free throw after a made bucket, Smith received quite the MVP treatment from the crowd.
While Smith has been flooded by ridicule over the past couple of days, he’s still a valuable member of the Cavs. It is true that Cleveland owns a shallow pool of talent compared to the Warriors, but Smith’s championship experience — despite being nonexistent in Game 1 — is something only a few other players in the Cavs’ roster can brag about.
LeBron James was most animated during that infamous Game 1 moment, but he’s not giving up on his teammate, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“He probably took that loss as hard as anybody on the team,” James said. “But one thing about JR, he has an uncanny ability to bounce back. I think people have seen that throughout our postseason runs, where he hasn’t played well or played to his ability that he thinks he should have played, and then the next game he comes on and shoots the ball extremely well. It’s just very locked in.”