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Acknowledging JR Smith’s Iconic ‘Blunder’, LeBron James Gives Teammate Credit For Championship Winning Block in 2016

Shubham Singh

Acknowledging JR Smith's Iconic 'Blunder', LeBron James Gives Teammate Credit For Championship Winning Block in 2016

During the recent ‘Mind the Game Pod’ episode with JJ Redick, LeBron James recalled his iconic block over Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 finals. While detailing his observations in the build-up to the play, he credited JR Smith for helping him buy time for seizing the block. He pointed out how his 2018 finals Game 1 blunder has affected JR Smith’s legacy. During Game 1 of the 2018 finals, the scores were tied at 104 each.

After a missed free throw by George Hill, Smith captured an offensive rebound and dribbled all the way to the three-point line, and gave a pass only when the regulation clock had expired. Ultimately, the Cavs lost by ten points in overtime. Despite this blunder, the 2016 finals MVP gave the former two-way hooper props for a decisive play in Game 7 of the 2016 finals.

While recalling that play where Kyrie Irving missed a floater, leading to a Warriors fastbreak, James admitted that he started his sprint later than he should have. However, he knew the ball would end up in Curry or Iguodala’s hands. Thus, all he needed was a teammate to delay the break and hamper an open-look drive. It turns out that Smith did exactly that which gave time for the chase-down artist to do his thing against the 2015 finals MVP.

Swish gets a lot of sh** because of the blunder he had the following year or two years later, whatever the fu** of not understanding the time and score, whatever the sh** may be. He executed that shit to perfection. He made Iggy change his shot just a little bit and that’s all I asked,” the King told JJ Redick.

Thus, the famous chase-down block in Game 7 wouldn’t have been possible without Smith’s help. While the Cavs made full use of his scoring skills, it was his defense they needed the most. He was instrumental during the 2016 championship in a myriad of ways.

JR Smith played a key role in the 2016 finals

Throughout the 2016 playoffs, Smith landed key shots for the Cavs. His contributions during the 2016 finals were immense. He could act both as a spot-up shooter and rise around the rim. However, he acted as a floor-spreader alongside Love for most parts. Apart from that, he was regularly on display during fastbreak sprinting situations on either side of the court.

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Thus, the 2x NBA champion was involved in a lot of action throughout the Cavs title campaign. The LeBron James-led squad needed his punch to complete a turnaround after being down 1-3.

In the finals series, that season, he tallied 10.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 steals, per game in seven games, per Statmuse. His best scoring performance came in Game 3 when his Cavs defeated the Warriors 120-90. The guard compiled 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals, nailing 5 of his 10 attempts from deep.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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