J.R. Smith participates in practice Wednesday, questionable for Game 3 against Indiana Pacers

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — J.R. Smith participated in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Wednesday and while Smith believes he’s “absolutely” ready to go for Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers Thursday night, the team hasn’t made the same determination and will wait to see how Smith responds before clearing him.

Smith is officially listed as questionable. 

“I don’t want to ask,” Smith said about talking to team doctors. “I figure I’ll find out gametime when you all find out. I don’t like sitting out. Sat out enough.”

Smith, who suffered a left hamstring injury in the first half of the Cavs’ Game 2 win, underwent an MRI Tuesday morning, which came back fine.

Following practice, Smith was able to go through some extra shooting drills with assistant coach Phil Handy before hopping on the plane to Indiana.

Smith tested the injury by jogging up and down court and going around the arc before hoisting jumpers while trainer Steve Spiro watched the workout. Smith said he will continue to receive treatment and monitor the situation closely.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Smith said. “Hopefully nothing flares up or anything. We’ll see what happens.”

Earlier this season, Smith missed 36 games following surgery on his right thumb. 

In the first two games against the Pacers, Smith, who has been guarding Indiana All-Star Paul George, is averaging 4.5 points on 42.9 percent from the field, including 40 percent from 3-point range. 

With Smith sidelined for the second half Monday, the Cavaliers turned to Iman Shumpert. He would likely get the start if Smith suffers a setback prior to Game 3.

“He did a helluva job,” Smith said of his replacement. “He came in, played great defense, forced a couple turnovers, hit two big shots for us. He stayed professional during the whole process, which is all you can ask because that’s a tough task to grasp. Starting at one point during the season when I was hurt and playing well, then not playing Game 1 and then not playing the first half and still able to go out there and perform, you’ve got to take your hat off to him.”

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