The 2016-2017 NBA regular season is about a third of the way completed, and that means the surprises and busts are generally well established. We’ve already shared with you some of the biggest surprises so far, and now it’s time to take a look at some of the disappointments this season.
Here’s a look at the five biggest letdowns of the season to date.
5. J.R. Smith looks like he’s still holding out
J.R. Smith is, well, J.R. Smith. Any basketball fan completely understands what that means.
The Cleveland Cavaliers also understand what that means, which is why they were reluctant to sign Smith to a long-term deal. But after his second consecutive holdout, they eventually caved and signed him to a four-year deal.
So what would J.R. Smith do with some rare contractual security? The answer to that question is not exactly what the Cavaliers were hoping for.
Not only has Smith been dealing with a variety of injuries this season, but he’s also lost a handle on the one aspect of his game that made him valuable: brilliance from long-range.
Smith has long been the king of bad shots, knocking down haymakers and miracles with shocking regularity. And when you take away that aspect of J.R. Smith’s game, all you’re left with is J.R. Smith and shenanigans like this.
Smith is shooting just 33.7 percent from the field this season and averaging only 8.8 points per game. His 35.8 percent shooting on threes is also well below the stellar 40 percent clip he was hitting on from long range last season.
Missing way more shots than he’s making just isn’t going to get it done for Smith and the Cavaliers. Luckily it’s only December and Smith has some time to heat up when the Cavs will need him the most — the playoffs.