Sport NBA playoffs: J.R. Smith thinks LeBron James lacked confidence in Cavs loss

23:05  22 may  2017
23:05  22 may  2017 Source:

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LeBron James had one of his worst games ever Sunday night when the Cavs lost Game 3 to the Celtics. Speaking Monday after practice, J.R. Smith made some interesting comments regarding his teammate, saying James needs to believe in himself a little more.

"Play confident," Smith said when asked about James' performance. "That's my only thing. People of his stature, well, there's only like three, but people like him, you gotta play confident the whole night and play aggressive. I mean, it's the Eastern Conference finals. It's not enough, for him, for what he does, for what he brings. It's not enough. He knows that. We know that. Just expecting him to be better in Game 4."

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Not many people would challenge James' confidence like that. If anything, James is the one making other people lack confidence. But as for how James can get to where he needs to be, Smith says he's going to do his best.

"I mean, I never have that problem. I've been confident every time I've stepped on the court, whether I'm falling out of bounds or shooting a free throw, confidence is something I never lack," Smith said. "That's my job as his teammate and as his friend is making sure he stays confident in what he does, and you know, just trying to get him out of it."

J.R. Smith and LeBron James © (Getty Images) J.R. Smith and LeBron James

Smith is not only teammates with James, but a close friend, so he can see things like this better than we can. Maybe James started losing faith in himself a little bit when he continued to play without contributing much to his stat line, scoring no points in the last 16 minutes of Game 3.

James has Monday to recover and perhaps regain confidence before the Cavs face the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday.

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