The Cleveland Cavaliers have won six of their last eight games and appear to be turning things around after their massive NBA trade deadline moves. However, it looks like the Cavs will be playing short, as they have handed down a suspension to one of their starting superstars. While there is no word yet on what the penalty is for, the Cavaliers have announced that they have suspended starting shooting guard J.R. Smith for at least one game, starting tonight as Cleveland welcomes the Philadelphia 76ers to Quicken Loans Arena. The 76ers are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind the Cavaliers, and have themselves won seven of their last nine games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers suspension

When the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off their NBA trade deadline moves, a lot of Cavs fans were surprised to hear that J.R. Smith was remaining the starting shooting guard. Smith is only averaging 8.3 points-per-game but is still playing a high 29.3 minutes-per-game for the Cavaliers. His PER numbers is a low 8.3, which is the worst of anyone on the team who gets regular playing time.

The report came officially from and it announced that the J.R. Smith suspension was for one game and was for "detrimental conduct." The news broke only hours before the Cleveland Cavaliers were set to play the Philadelphia 76ers. While no actual reason was given for what Smith did, Tyronn Lue is scheduled to talk to the media before the 76ers game.

Could the suspension be a good thing?

As mentioned, J.R. Smith is having a terrible season compared to his historical performance. With that said, Smith missing the game tonight will likely open the door for Rodney Hood to step into the Cleveland Cavaliers starting lineup. In just six games since the trade that brought him to Cleveland, Hood has averaged 11.2 points from the bench, along with 2.7 rebounds -- both numbers better than J.R.


On the season, including his time with the Utah Jazz, Hood is averaging 16 points a game. If he can drain some shots against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight in place of J.R. Smith, there is a chance that the Cleveland Cavaliers might look at making a move in the future that could improve their team.

In general, all four players the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired at the trade deadline are better options than J.R.

Smith this season. George Hill is starting at point guard and averaging 11.8 points, Jordan Clarkson is helping run the second team and is averaging 14.2 points and Larry Nance Jr. is averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds as a reserve forward.