With LeBron James out tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Orlando Magic, Iman Shumpert will start in his place with J.R. Smith coming off the bench.
According to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, Smith asked to come off the bench.
"Actually he came up to me and asked me if he could come off the bench so he could get used to playing with the second unit, so I think it will be OK," Lue said, per cleveland.com.
Shumpert returned on Tuesday from a sprained foot. When James returns, and he returns to the bench, he is expected to see the first player off the bench for the Cavs, at least to start the season.
As for Smith, it’s a good sign that he seems willing embrace his new role. He may be frustrated, but it doesn’t seem as if he’s going to let that hamper from being as good as he can coming off the bench. And wanting to adjust to the role makes sense too — this will be the Cavs’ last trial run before the regular season and it’s going to be an adjustment for him. Better to rip the bandage off now.