It wouldn’t be an NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors without a healthy dose of shade. It wasn’t necessarily surprising that neither team did anything to poke the bear prior to the Finals starting, but we officially have the first shot fired.
It was obvious to everyone that the Cavs didn’t quite play their desired style of play in Game 1. It’s generally anticipated that Cleveland will go with a slower and more physical style in Game 2, in an attempt to throw the Warriors off. But an attempt to see if J.R. Smith will reveal the Cavs strategy turned into just a fantastic quote:
Cavaliers' J.R. Smith on Warriors' Draymond Green: "They got one guy who keeps kicking people in the nuts." pic.twitter.com/vnsHXDt0Xu— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 3, 2017
It’s hard to find a flaw in Smith’s logic. The Warriors were the more physical team in Game 1, something that isn’t acceptable. While this is some quality shade, I don’t think it’ll receive much backlash from the Warriors. It’s not like the team can act like Draymond Green doesn’t kick people in the nuts. Shooters shoot, and this is probably the best shot Smith has taken so far in the Finals.