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Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue fined J.R. Smith $100 for falling for DeMar DeRozan pump fake

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Three

TORONTO, ON - MAY 05: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends in the first half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 5, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

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The Cavaliers swept the Raptors, but one Cleveland player didn’t escape the series unscathed.

Joe Vardon of

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue fined J.R. Smith $100 for biting on a DeMar DeRozan pump fake in Game 4 Sunday, and collected in the locker room after the win.

As part of Lue’s challenge to Smith to guard DeRozan, the Raptors’ top scorer who looks to draw fouls, Smith owed his coach $100 every time he jumped for one of DeRozan’s pump fake.

Iman Shumpert said all players were subjected to fines for jumping on a fake by DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, who missed the final two games of the series with a sprained ankle. But Lue said Smith was the only one who jumped (and paid).

$100 isn’t necessarily a lot to Smith, who made $12.8 million this season. But if I ran the players’ union, I’d protest this on principle. Lue should find ways to motivate his players other than
taking their money.

On another note: This is a reason Toronto’s offense keeps faltering in the playoffs. DeRozan’s and Lowry’s craftiness is tough to handle when facing a few teams each week, each with distinctive strengths and weaknesses, in the regular season. When seeing DeRozan and Lowry repeatedly in a row, their moves are easier to solve. I doubt the Lowry and DeRozan went four straight games without getting multiple bites on their pump fakes. That even Cleveland’s suspect defense did it only once is telling.