The #Cleveland Cavaliers have been fighting adversity all season long, with significant players missing extended time due to injuries. Despite all the injuries, LeBron James and company landed the second seed in the East and currently lead the Indiana Pacers 2-0 in the playoffs. In Game 2 against Indiana, the Cavaliers lost veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith to a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old suffered the injury late in the second quarter and did not play in the second half.
Update on Smith’s injury
Fortunately, Smith's injury isn't considered to be serious, though he is questionable to play in #Game 3, as the team travels to Indiana looking to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
On a positive note, Smith did some jogging and sprints after Wednesday's workout, according to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. When Smith was held out in the second half of Game 2, Iman Shumpert received the start and provided an enormous spark, which led to the Cavaliers taking a 19-point lead. Without Smith, Cleveland will lose some depth at the wing and a whole lot of outside shooting. In two playoff games, Smith has accumulated a total of nine points, three rebounds, and one assist. Obviously, Smith has been slumping so far, but he is essential to the team's long-term success. Last season, he provided timely three-point shooting and tremendous offensive energy.
Smith should could use some rest
It may not be necessary for Smith to play for the remainder of the Cavs' series against the Pacers, but the one-time champion was awfully disappointed when he was held out of Game 2's second half. Hamstring injuries are nonetheless tricky to recover from.
Rest is the best medicine, so despite being questionable for Game 3, the Cavaliers will be cautious with Smith.
Earlier in the season, Smith missed 41 games after undergoing surgery on his right thumb. In his absence, the Cavaliers found relief in DeAndre Liggins and Shumpert. However, the team waived Liggins before the end of the season and signed veteran guard Dahntay Jones, who has only played in one game for the Cavaliers but did not appear in action during the post-season.
If Smith is unable to participate in Thursday's game, Shumpert will continue to get the start at shooting guard, while Deron Williams and Kyle Korver may see an increase in minutes. The aforementioned Jones may also earn some playing time if the team is in need of more defensive help, which has been a struggle thus far. #Jr Smith