Throwback to when Warriors’ superstar Stephen Curry’s gravity pulled JR Smith away, leading to an open Kevin Durant dunk in the 2017 Finals
The Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry would go down in NBA History as one of the most fierce rivalries in NBA History. After facing each other for four straight Finals, the Warriors finally got the upper hand. They dominated the Cavs 3-1.
The Warriors had a loaded roster, with Stephen Curry leading the way. They boasted big names like Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The Cleveland Cavaliers had a few stars on their roster as well. Their roster included LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, JR Smith, and Kevin Love.
Having faced off in four straight Finals, the teams started getting a hang of how the other team played. There were quite a few moments to remember for their glory. However, there were also moments of carelessness, which are remembered to look back and smile at.
One such moment was when JR Smith dribbled away from an open shot, resulting in a Game 1 loss during the 2018 NBA Finals.
3 YEARS AGO TODAY
JR SMITH’s infamous blunder in GM1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
Here’s the full heartbreaking bench videopic.twitter.com/yMjKV2kfti
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 31, 2021
JR Smith preferred a Kevin Durant dunk over a Stephen Curry 3
The 2017 NBA Finals had the Golden State Warriors heavily favored over the Cleveland Cavaliers, owing to the juggernaut that the Dubs had assembled. The signing of Kevin Durant to the Warriors had changed the whole landscape of the league. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a lack of talent on the Cavs roster. The 2016 NBA champions had LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, who would not go down without a fight. The odds were highly stacked against King James and co.
The Warriors were in redemption mode from the very go of Game One. The Cavs were seen struggling to keep up.
In a split-second decision, we saw the impact Stephen Curry had made on the game. With the Warriors outnumbering the Cavs on a fastbreak, JR Smith left the post open for a free dunk for Durant. Where did Smith go? He went to guard Curry at the 3-point line.
Durant was phenomenal during the game, torching a 38-point performance with 9 rebounds and 8 assists. The 4x scoring champion shot 53.8% from the field and 50.0% from the 3-point line.
Recently, 36-year old Smith decided to switch careers and has enrolled himself in North Carolina A&T State University to have a career in pro Golf. The 2x NBA champion plans to pursue a degree in liberal arts.