It took all of three games, but it appears J.R. Smith will regain his starting role. After the Cavaliers’ embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dwyane Wade, Cleveland’s starting shooting guard to that point, asked Tyronn Lue to move to the bench to allow him to be more of a facilitator with the second unit.
When the Cavaliers signed Wade, much was made about fit and how a player used to having the ball in his hands would fit with a five-man unit that focuses on LeBron James as a primary ball handler. Wade wrestled with been a starting guard his entire career alongside having the ability to lead the reserve unit in the way of making plays. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue conceded to Wade to allow him to be the team’s starting shooting guard, sharing a backcourt with Derrick Rose, but the results were less than ideal. Through three games, Wade is averaging 5.7 points and shooting 28 percent from the floor, admitting to being lost at times.
“I’m trying to find it, man,” Wade said on Saturday night. “It’s very different, different than I’ve ever played. Just trying to find my way, as we go on, see how I can be best for this team. Everything’s happened so fast. This has been a long, long week… I’ve always been a [No.] 1 or 2 option. It’s just a different game. You got to kind of figure out your way.”
Wade could have tried to tough through this stretch, but decided he would be better suited to get acclimated to the reserve unit as the primary scorer sooner than later, playing alongside Tristan Thompson, Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver within the primary rotation. This is bound to merely be the first of many lineup changes the Cavaliers experience throughout the season, but one that should only help them gel with their cavalcade of new players.