LeBron James Vouchs For J.R. Smith To Be In Three Point Contest
J.R. Smith may be one of the most underrated three point shooters in NBA history by virtue of the fact that he has not participated in any three point contest during All Star Weekend. But LeBron James wants that to change by giving credit where it’s due.
In an article by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, James was quoted when he vouced for his teammate to take part in the annual shooting event.
“He’s never been invited. I think we might need to start making that petition.”
“(With) us being the No. 1 team in the East, (and) him shooting the ball the way he’s been shooting … we need to try to get as many guys at All-Star as possible. Guys know in the league he’s an unbelievable 3-point shooter and he deserves an invite.”
While the mercurial shooting guard has only gotten his rhythm back lately, Haynes provided some astonishing numbers which seem enough to justify Smith’s cause.
In the last three games, the Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith has connected on 18 of 30 3-point attempts. He’s shooting 39 percent from long distance on the season. Fourteen times Smith has made eight or more 3-pointers in a game — that’s second in NBA history only to Golden State’s Stephen Curry (16).
Over the Cleveland Cavaliers’ past three games, J.R. Smith has averaged 25.3 points and that is largely because of his torrid shooting. Haynes also shared how Smith saw his recent success came about.
“There was no spacing on the floor like it is now,”
“It’s like being out on an island.”
“It’s changed because now I’m getting so many wide open ones that I don’t want to mess it up. I really want to try to keep that going. So hopefully they just keep leaving me open.”
Credit also goes to Smith himself for better decision making. He is no longer passing up open shots in favor of drives to the paint. When he catches the ball, he simply lets it fly and that’s how he became a very important piece of the Cavaliers last season.
Cleveland already has three former three point shootout champions in its lineup. Kevin Love scorched the competition in 2012. Kyrie Irving was crowned champion in 2013. James Jones won it all in 2011. But the Cavs would still very much welcome a fourth long distance king to their group.