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Cavs' Smith shows more defensive commitment for NBA games



NBA 2K17 MT Coins — Anyone who thinks J.R. Smith is one of those NBA players whose 


idea of defense is taking the ball out of the net after his opponent scores hasn't 


been paying attention.

That might have been Smith's reputation earlier in his career. But that's not how 


he has approached his craft for at least several ... uh, months? Weeks?

"I used to be a guy who, my pride in my work was pretty much on how I shot the 


ball," the Cleveland Cavaliers' shooting guard said. "I try not to be that person 


anymore. Not let, whether I make a shot or miss a shot, define what I can do on a 


court. I try to start energy and then bring everything else on the defensive side 


and let my defense turn into transition offense."

Smith, 30, is wrapping up his 12th NBA season, so this most definitely falls into 


the old dog/new trick category. The obvious question, then, was: Why now?

"My daughter, actually," Smith said, referring to 7-year-old Demi Smith, around 


whose little finger pop apparently is wrapped.

"I was having a conversation with my daughter earlier this year about her 


sacrificing her toys, because she wants new toys," Smith said. "I was like, 'Baby, 


if you want more toys, you're going to have to sacrifice and give these other toys 


away to people who can't afford them or maybe are less fortunate.' She was like, 


'Well, daddy, what are you going to sacrifice?'

"I sat there and honestly thought about it. And one thing that I can control is my 


defense. How I come in and impact the game. I talked to her about it, and even 


though she doesn't understand exactly from a basketball term, she understands..."

So yes, 12 years in, it was a conversation with his child about toys that persuaded 


a guy who already has been paid upwards of $40 million in his career to get serious 


about something that represents one half of how he logs his time.

OK, so. Smith's defense has been a welcome new facet to his game and has come in 


handy for the Cavaliers in this postseason, most notably against Atlanta's Kyle 


Korver in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He was more attentive at that end, 


too, in the first round against the likes of Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and 


in the East finals when matched with Toronto's DeMar DeRozan.

GameTime: Adjustments For Cavaliers

The GameTime crew discusses some of the adjustments that the Cavaliers can make 


ahead of Game 2 of the  https://www.igs.com/    .