SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives J.R. Smith

LeBron/JordanGetty Images

Ah, the Michael Jordan versus [insert modern star here] debate. As much as many (most?) people might like to see it retired, or at least diminished, it's not going away anytime soon.

Case-in-point: Kendrick Perkins and J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers players fresh off watching LeBron James' gutsy performance in a Game 3 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks, brought up MJ in the context of their four-time-MVP, two-time-champion teammate.

Perkins, as told to Northeast Ohio Media Group: "The only thing that he's missing is a couple more championships, and then it's a wrap. Right now, we have arguably the best player to ever play the game. I'm just saying, man. I'm not taking anything away from Jordan, but all [James is] missing is titles. A couple of more titles, and that's it."

And Smith, as told to the same publication: "That's one hell of a debate. Honestly, in my opinion, if it's not Jordan, then it's him. It used to be no question. It was a landslide. It was Jordan. Now, you have to consider my boy."

Smith's comments are more measured; if you don't consider James one of the greatest players of all time, you're just a hater.

But Perkins? He's kind of, sort of saying LeBron is better ... if only he had Jordan's six rings.

Some might channel Jason Segel and respond that six rings is THE ONLY ARGUMENT I NEED, KENDRICK!

We prefer a more nuanced view, though nearly every unit of measurement favors MJ as No. 1.

Still, there's time left in LeBron's career, so you never know ...

H/T Northeast Ohio Media Group

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J.R. Smith might not have led the Cleveland Cavaliers in scoring Wednesday night; LeBron James dropped 31 as the Cavs beat the Atlanta Hawks 97-89 in Eastern Conference finals Game 1.

But the 3-point specialist -- who has literally said his motto is "When in doubt, shoot the ball" -- caught the eye with his 28-point outburst that included 8-of-12 shooting from distance.

Naturally, a lot of people watching at home -- some of them who have an equally indiscriminate approach to shooting -- loved it:

Not everyone liked it, though.

Game 2 of the J.R. Smith Experience (and rest of the Eastern Conference finals) is Friday.

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We might have some new NBA playoffs bulletin-board material! At least, if the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards meet in the Eastern Conference finals.

It comes from Game 4 between the Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks, in which Washington star John Wall sat out with a wrist injury, and wore this number:

John WallNed Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images

Loud, yes. But hey, it's the NBA, where we've come to expect such a thing. Bold is beautiful, so live and let live -- oh wait.

Insert blushing, bulging-eyed emoji here.

Now, we're no fashion experts. So we're just going to leave this here and let you decide whether the Cavs sharpshooter has any room to speak.

H/T For the Win

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The Cleveland Cavaliers' J.R. Smith shoots 3-pointers. Often effectively, sometimes indiscriminately, but not always exclusively ... until Sunday, when all three of those factors converged for the most J.R. Smith game of all time.

In a 99-94 win over the Chicago Bulls, Smith had the following box score:

J.R. SmithESPN

Yes, that's 17 3-point attempts without shooting a 2. And that's an NBA record:

The previous record, according to Elias, was 13, done three times before (Ryan Anderson in 2012-13, Voshon Lenard in 1996-97 and Mookie Blaylock in 1995-96).

Smith also contributed to LeBron James' first triple-double in more than a year, knocking down five 3s from James passes.

Oh, and one of Smith's eight 3-point makes was this halftime buzzer-beater from 40 feet:

In short: Cleveland is probably happy it acquired Smith from the New York Knicks this season.

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A shooting guard's primary role is to score points -- a skill Kobe Bryant and James Harden have mastered as two of the NBA's top five scorers last season. They are also proficient from behind the arc, as Danny Green and Kevin Martin have proven to be. Who is the league's best two guard? NBA insider Bradford Doolittle had his say and so did the NBA 5-on-5 crew, but now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in. Set your rankings below!

Rank 'Em: Power forwards | Point guards | Centers | NBA teams' under-25 talent

NBA Shooting Guards

Tony Allen

Tony Allen

Grizzlies
2012-13: 8.9 PPG, 1.2 APG, 4.6 RPG

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Lakers
2012-13: 27.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, 5.6 RPG

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal

Wizards
2012-13: 13.9 PPG, 2.4 APG, 3.8 RPG

Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Mavericks
2012-13: 13.4 PPG, 2.4 APG, 4.1 RPG

DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan

Raptors
2012-13: 18.1 PPG, 2.5 APG, 3.9 RPG

Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis

Mavericks
2012-13: 19.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.9 RPG

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans

Pelicans
2012-13: 15.2 PPG, 3.5 APG, 4.4 RPG

Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili

Spurs
2012-13: 11.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.4 RPG

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Pelicans
2012-13: 17.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 RPG

Danny Green

Danny Green

Spurs
2012-13: 10.5 PPG, 1.8 APG, 3.1 RPG

James Harden

James Harden

Rockets
2012-13: 25.9 PPG, 5.8 APG, 4.9 RPG

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

Nets
2012-13: 16.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.0 RPG

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin

Timberwolves
2012-13: 14.0 PPG, 1.4 APG, 2.3 RPG

Wesley Matthews

Wesley Matthews

Trail Blazers
2012-13: 14.8 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.8 RPG

O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo

Bucks
2012-13: 15.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.5 RPG

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith

Knicks
2012-13: 18.1 PPG, 2.7 APG, 5.3 RPG

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson

Warriors
2012-13: 16.6 PPG, 2.2 APG, 3.7 RPG

Marcus Thornton

Marcus Thornton

Kings
2012-13: 12.7 PPG, 1.3 APG, 2.5 RPG

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

Heat
2012-13: 21.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, 5.0 RPG

Louis Williams

Louis Williams

Hawks
2012-13: 14.1 PPG, 3.6 APG, 2.1 RPG

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