The veteran shooting guard reminded everyone on Sunday that he can still posterize big men who try to challenge him at the rim. Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes found out about it the hard way during the first quarter of their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers when Smith faked a jumper then attacked the basket by soaring high for a powerful one-handed slam in his face to the delight of the Cavs bench. Smith also gave him a staredown afterward, sending a message to the Australian international that he cannot stop him.
The Cavs have their newly-acquired players debuting for them on the night and have high hopes that they can make a difference for them as the season progresses. They have lost 14 of their last 22 games, leading to a revamp of their roster which took place ahead of last Thursday’s trade deadline. A win against the top team in the Eastern Conference will be huge for them and could be a morale booster for the Wine and Gold, which will give them a lot of momentum for their upcoming games.
BOSTON — A first quarter collision with Aron Baynes left Cavaliers forward LeBron James doubled over in pain, hobbling to the bench as he dealt with the immediate aftermath of knee-on-knee contact with the Celtics center.
Afterward, James said he was sore, but anticipated he’d be ready for Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He also joked Baynes, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound center from New Zealand, should consider picking up a part-time job in the offseason.
“Baynes is a big boy, man,” James said. “In his off time, he should be on Game of Thrones. And Steven Adams. I have to see him next.”
“I took a knee to the quad, kind of a knee to the side of a knee big time. I have a couple days until we play in OKC Tuesday night, and I’m ready to go,” he said.