Many are considering the Boston Celtics as the squad that will challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers' dominance in the Eastern Conference. However, Cavs guard J.R. Smith is not one of them.

According to, a reporter from Boston asked Smith Monday if he considers the Celtics "a different challenge, a greater challenge." The Celtics revamped their roster in the offseason by adding the likes of All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Smith responded and said, "Not really, honestly." The outspoken veteran then went on to explain why he is unfazed by the new lineup of the Celtics.

For Smith, indeed the Celtics are different because of the new faces on the roster. But they are the same since they lost key players like Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. Smith's recent statement added fuel to the fire. Later tonight, it will be seen who will draw first blood when the Cavaliers and Celtics meet at the Quicken Loans Arena to start their respective championship bids.

Uncertain king

As of this moment, it remains unknown if LeBron James will be available for the Cleveland Cavaliers when they host the Boston Celtics. During the preseason, James aggravated an ankle injury he initially suffered in training camp.

J.R. Smith also shared Monday his thoughts regarding James' status for their opener against the Celtics.

He told reporters following practice, "Oh, he's going to go. He's going to go, trust me on that. I don't care what he's got to do, he's going to play." Smith believes the four-time MVP's love for the game is the reason why he will see action tonight. As Smith sounded sure, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue remained doubtful.

Kendrick Perkins heading to G League

In other Cleveland Cavaliers news, Kendrick Perkins is joining the Canton Charge. The Charge is the NBA G League affiliate of the Cavs.

Perkins signed with the Cavaliers in late September hoping to continue his playing career. Unfortunately, the team waived him three days ago. Following this, head coach Tyronn Lue expressed the desire for Perkins to be part of his staff, but the one-time NBA champion is hell-bent on competing on the court.

Now, he has the opportunity to do so after reaching an agreement with the Charge.

With the Charge, it would be possible for Perkins to be called up by the Cavaliers when they need another man on the roster. It's certainly possible the 32-year-old gets another shot in the league before he hangs it up.