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June 11, 2017

J.R. Smith

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Did you feel like you sacrificed too much of your offense just chasing people around for so long early in the series?
J.R. SMITH: No. I tried a couple times to be aggressive and lost the ball early. I was trying to get to the paint and make something happen and try to get to some of my moves in Games 1 and 2, but I couldn't get to. Then I got only a few kick-out shots, and so that kind of limited me.

When we got home, we did a much better job of moving the ball and getting kick-outs and drive-and-kicks, and everybody else made shots. So it made it easier for me.

Q. Did you intend to take only six shots the first two games of The Finals?
J.R. SMITH: Absolutely not. That's never my intent. But if that's what I'm given, that's what I'm given. I'm not going to force anything just for the sake of shooting. Fortunately, I got more opportunities the last two games.

Q. How did you hold Steph to only 13 shots? Is that an adjustment? Trying to double-team him more?
J.R. SMITH: I think a lot that have has to do with the way Kyrie really stayed attached to his body on pin-downs and stuff. In the first couple games, he was getting a lot of open looks. Ky did a great job of staying on his body. Shump came in, same thing, even though Shump is a bigger body. So whatever we did, we have to bottle it up for the next couple games, hopefully.

Q. The shot from Game 4 -- K.D. called it the shot from almost half court and that it looked like a mid-range jumper. How does that rate on the J.R. Smith depth-of-shot scale?
J.R. SMITH: Well, it's not the furthest one I've taken, but it's up there. Ever since I was growing up, my dad always told me, there's not a shot you can make when you walk in the gym. For me, at a younger age, I was always practicing further shots, shooting from further out. I just got accustomed to it.

Q. The other night you said LeBron was a Gatorade baby. What did you mean by that?
J.R. SMITH: He's a physical specimen. It looks like he was made in a lab. If you curated a player on 2K, you couldn't make a better player than LeBron. Just from height-wise, athletic ability, unbelievable brain for the game, knows the history of the game. You can't create, literally, a better player.

Q. Where would you rank all the shooters here? There are a lot here. You, Steph, Klay, K.D.
J.R. SMITH: Steph, easily go down as the greatest shooter of all time. Just off his ability to catch-and-shoot, get his own shot, pull up in the middle of doing a between-the-legs crossover, behind-the-back spinning off somebody. Deep range. He can shoot the mid-range. He'll go down as the greatest shooter ever.

Then you have somebody like Klay, who is neck-and-neck, pretty much right behind him. Then you throw in somebody like K.D., who is 7-foot, who has never really seen a contested shot because he's so tall. And he has an unbelievable touch.

This game has seen a lot of great shooters. Fortunately we're all pretty semi-young -- well, they are -- and you'll see a lot more.

Q. With LeBron being this kind of Frankenstein monster, is leadership part of that?
J.R. SMITH: Unbelievable. He leads by example every single day. He's the best player in the world and you see him continuously working on his game, working on his body, working on the mental aspect, watching film. That intrigues you to do more at all times.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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