How will J.R. Smith and Jae Crowder fare as teammates?
Usually after chaos comes clarity. However, that is not the case with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After sorting out one of the messier trades in recent memory, Isaiah Thomas' hip is casting a shadow over the Cavaliers' coming season, but there is good reason to ask whether Jae Crowder will mesh with former rival J.R. Smith, too.
This may be easier said than done due to the track record these two players have together. There has been no love loss between them, only maythem.
This reminds me: J.R. Smith once punched Jae Crowder in the face, crippled his knee + refused to apologize. They're teammates now. https://t.co/LmgdqZVf0p
Back in April of 2015, the Boston Celtics faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the playoffs. Game four in Boston quickly spiraled out of control after Kevin Love left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Cavaliers players say it was a dirty play by Kelly Olynyk, claiming he ripped Loves' arm with the intention of hurting him.
However that was just the beginning of the chaos between the two teams. With emotions flowing J.R. Smith and Kendrik Perkins decided to take matters into his own hands by retaliating towards the Celtics. Perkins leveled Crowder and continued to take a swing at him but fortunately missed.
Later in the third quarter J.R. Smith was assessed a flagrant-two-foul for punching Crowder in the face, and was immediate ejected. ESPN's Heather Cox reported that Crowder suffered a knee injury, but did not suffer any head injuries.
Smith later said the hit was "unintentional" and also refused to apologize to Crowder. This was more than just a little intensity gone wrong, and begs the question of whether the two will be able to play together for the Cavaliers. It certainly wouldn't bother most Boston fans if they had trouble burying the hatchet.