During a summer workout posted on LATRUTH’s Facebook page, J.R. Smith hit 80 3-pointers in a row. Well, maybe.
In a video that cuts a few times and could be on a loop at points, Smith appears to drain 80 treys with no misses. The caption reads: “J.R. Smith hits 80 three-pointers in a row before camera dies.”
If true, the most amazing part of the feat may be that Smith hit all the shots without a defender anywhere near him. Smith is known for his ability to nail incredibly difficult shots with defenders contesting him. In 2016, as reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Smith revealed his preference for tough shots.
“I’d rather take a contested shot than an open shot any day,” Smith said. “It’s kind of boring when you take open shots.”
And although the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in the NBA Finals this season, Smith had big moments. Over the final three games of the series, Smith shot 17-of-28 from distance, good enough for a 61 percent clip.
Many of those shots were ostensibly low-percentage ones and Smith has not only been working on open shots this summer. He appeared in videos of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and other NBAers playing pick-up, making a contested jumper over Enes Kanter at one point.
Smith has not only worked on his hardwood stroke this summer. He spent a day last week hitting the links with Cavs fan and PGA golfer Jason Day. In the Facebook jump-shooting video, the 31-year-old slows his release down to perfect the mechanics of his shot, much like a golfer working on muscle memory.
His jump shot could play an even more vital role in the Cavaliers’ offense this season. With question marks surrounding the future of Kyrie Irving (and even LeBron), Smith could be relied upon to take even more shots next year. One thing is for sure: the shoot-first-ask-questions-later guard will be prepared for an increased role.