Not even in Smith’s own mind.
”I can’t say I was sure of anything at that point,” Smith said.
All he and the Cleveland Cavaliers are sure of now is this: They’re down 1-0 to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, with Game 2 on Sunday night and Smith knowing that he’s going to be booed, made fun of, mocked and probably worse by the crowd at Oracle Arena.
Smith became one of the big Game 1 stories for all the wrong reasons . He grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw in the final seconds of regulation with the game tied, then ran toward midcourt as if he was running out the clock and thinking Cleveland had a one-point lead. The Cavaliers wound up losing in overtime.
”He probably took that loss as hard as anybody on the team,” Cavs star LeBron James said Saturday. ”But one thing about J.R., he has an uncanny ability to bounce back. I think people have seen that throughout our postseason runs Joe Maddon Jersey , where he hasn’t played well or played to his ability that he thinks he should have played, and then the next game he comes on and shoots the ball extremely well.”
That bounce-back tendency for Smith will be tested now like perhaps never before. This wasn’t just a gaffe. This was a huge gaffe, in the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals with the game on the line. And in the immediate aftermath, it appeared Smith said to James on the court that he thought the Cavs were leading – something he denied afterward.
”I might have said that,” Smith said. ”Not sure, but I might have.”
To say Smith was the reason Cleveland lost Thursday night isn’t right, or fair. There’s no guarantee that Cleveland would have scored to win the game in those final seconds if Smith had done anything differently.
Still, he was blamed.
”I’m glad it happened to me as opposed to anybody else on my team Cheap Tarvarius Moore Jersey ,” Smith said. ”To be in that situation is tough and it’s not a situation everybody can handle, so I’m glad it happened to me.”