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J.R. Smith on playing before knowing Cavaliers’ playbook: ‘When in doubt, shoot’

Houston Rockets v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 7: J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Jason Terry #31of the Houston Rockets during the first half of their game on January 7, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 David Maxwell/Getty Images)

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The Cavaliers probably didn’t want J.R. Smith, but they took him and his 2015-16 salary as a tax to get Iman Shumpert in a three-way trade with the Knicks and Thunder.

Smith could still help Cleveland off the bench, though. He has been productive in the right situations. He’s just overpaid, and New York was definitely not the right situation.

At minimum, the Cavaliers get a heck of a character.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

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Smith made his Cavaliers debut last night, shooting 0-for-5 in 18 minutes in a loss to the Rockets.

Two of those attempts were 41-footers to end quarters, shots Smith – unlike many players – is unafraid to attempt, even though they hurt his individual efficiency. I’m not saying 0-for-3 is a great night, but it looks a little better than 0-for-5.

And actually, five shots in 18 minutes would be a career-low rate for Smith over a full season. So, he’s not quite the gunner in Cleveland he claims to be.

So far.