J.R. Smith shoots - it's what he does. This is why he was brought to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But according to the team, he wasn't taking enough shots during this postseason. Maybe it's simply because he has other things on his mind. Regardless, he isn't performing up to the expectations of a starter on the game's biggest stage. In the eyes of some, it may be time for him to spend some time on the bench, rather than on the court with his teammates.

Struggling for the Cavaliers

It was another tough half in Game 2 of the NBA Finals for Smith. The shooting guard attempted just one shot for Cleveland, a three-pointer, and missed it.

He sported a minus-13 rating at the end of the first half, the worst rating for any player on either team.

His most significant contribution to the game was a strange play at the end of the first quarter, when he sprinted up the sideline for a last second shot, only to slip and commit a traveling violation, nearly granting the Golden State Warriors another scoring opportunity.

Unlike their starting shooting guard, however, the Cavaliers started to get something going in that first half. Despite struggling on the defensive end, the Cavs only trailed the Warriors by three points at the halftime break. That opened up a pressing question: would the Cavs be leading if they had someone playing valuable minutes other than J.R.


Where did J.R. go?

Some of the shooting guard's struggles this season could be for very valid reasons. It took much of the summer for him to sign a new contract with the Cavaliers, putting him behind in training and team bonding exercises. Then, Smith dealt with one of the hardest times in his life: the premature birth of his daughter.

She is doing better now, but she spent months in the hospital, which coincided with an injury to the shooting guard.

But this is the NBA Finals, where emotions and history get dumped down the drain in favor of one crowning moment. Right now, Smith is proving to be a liability in the Cavaliers' desire to bring a second championship home to their city.

Tyronn Lue probably doesn't want to bench someone who can suddenly explode and be one of their top three shooters. But he may not have a choice at this point. If a change isn't made soon, the odds of a championship repeat fall precipitously. Smith likely understands that and will do what it takes to ensure his team can rebound from losing the first two games of the series.