If there’s one part of J.R. Smith’s game you don’t typically worry about, it’s his ability to make shots. He has consistently been one of the league’s best volume shooters with the ability to get red hot at times.
Yet this season Smith has failed to make an impact from behind the arc. He has shot just 12 percent from three through five games and has gone just 1-12 since being inserted into the starting lineup.
According to LeBron James, the issues with Smith’s outside shot are all in his head.
"With J.R., everything is mental. It's all mental," said James, in explaining the difference between Smith's struggles and Wade's. "The reason D-Wade struggled is he's on a completely new team, running all new stuff, he's trying to figure all that out. He's used to seeing the ball.
"J.R., everything's mental. He's too good of a shooter for it to be anything but mental."
It’s worth noting that Smith was a game-time decision on Tuesday due to a sore back, so it’s possible that his issues are health related. But given the close nature of the relationship between LeBron and Smith, LeBron likely has some insight towards what’s going on with Smith right now.
While the shots haven’t fallen for Smith, the attention he still draws at the position is helpful in comparison to Wade. Although a lot of the Cavs recent struggles have been the result of their shooters simply failing to convert shots.