A handful of San Antonio Spurs had reactions J.R. Smith’s late-game blunder in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
It’s rare to see someone on the San Antonio Spurs make a mistake to close a game. Under head coach Gregg Popovich, there always seems to be sound, fundamental play. Maybe not 100 percent of the time, but nothing close to what happened near the end of regulation in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
With the score tied, after Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill missed the second of two free throws with just seconds remaining, J.R. Smith grabbed the rebound and instead of trying for a last-second shot or passing it away, he dribbled the ball near midcourt and the passed the ball to a teammate too late on the clock. This forced overtime and saw the Golden State Warriors eventually win.
Smith took plenty of slack for this blunder, and despite the notion that he forgot the score, he claims he knew it. Whatever the case may be, it did not paint him in a positive light.
A handful of Spurs players tweeted their reactions to the play, including Dejounte Murray’s “JR DRUNK.”
— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) June 1, 2018
Danny Green played devil’s advocate, as it may have prevented the Warriors from receiving an opportunity to win the game in regulation.
JR play can be looked at two ways…he missed out on an opportunity to score or…he prevented GS from getting another opportunity to score…?
— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) June 1, 2018
Not the craziest theory from Green. However, with all the scrutiny Smith received over the past 24 hours, there’s no way, at this point, that the public gives him the benefit of the doubt. Just check Twitter.
Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals takes place on Sunday, June 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC and available to stream on WatchESPN. It’s not a long wait for Smith to recover and wipe clean the events of Game 1. But will there be another game-changing storyline to discuss, whether it’s from the aforementioned Cavalier or someone else?