The Cleveland Cavaliers are in action against the Indiana Pacers Monday evening, looking to take a 2-0 commanding lead in the series. However, they will have to do it without starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, who will miss the rest of the game with a hamstring injury.

This is a huge blow for the Cavaliers because it appears that this may be a serious injury, judging by the look on Smith’s face in the graphic below. Smith played 18 minutes in the first half of Game 2, but Iman Shumpert took the starting shooting guard role in the second half. In his 18 minutes, Smith scored just three points, totaling nine for the entire series.

Could he be out long?

The injury is very concerning since, as mentioned above, he looked very disappointed, which is understandable because he missed 41 games this season after undergoing surgery on his right thumb in December. If the injury is indeed serious, Smith may be done for the playoffs, but further tests will confirm that. Either way, it is a minor speed bump for the Cavaliers, who are trying to repeat and could use all the help they can get.

If it’s any consolation, the Cavaliers are used to playing without Smith since he missed half of the year with a thumb injury.

But, obviously Cleveland wouldn’t want any of its players sidelined as they try to make another long playoff run.

What the Cavs will miss without him

Smith’s streaky three-point shooting and ability to space the floor is essential to the team’s success. Without him, Shumpert, who has been brutally inconsistent and inefficient, will have to play heavy minutes and tack on huge responsibilities.

The team will also count heavily on new additions Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The 31-year-old Smith is averaging 8.6 pints, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists this season on 35.1 percent shooting from three-point range. He was a major part of Cleveland’s title run last season, hitting timely baskets and providing sufficient three-point shooting.

Thankfully, the Cavaliers are crushing the Pacers after three quarters by 18 points in Game 2 and are on the verge of taking a 2-0 lead. Perhaps Smith may not be needed in this series, but Cleveland will need him in the long run.

If the injury isn’t serious, the Cavaliers could simply rest him for the remainder of the series, so he can be fresh and 100 percent for the rest of the playoffs. Hamstring injuries typically require long rests to heal, which may be Cleveland’s ultimate decision regarding Smith.

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