KEEPING IT RAHEEL

Raheel Ramzanali: What really happened on the J.R. Smith play

What really happened to J.R. Smith? Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

We’re almost a week removed from one of the greatest misplays in NBA Finals history and I still have no closure from J.R. Smith’s gaffe. We’ve seen the memes, the uncut footage, and various explanations, but I still don’t believe any of it. In an attempt to find the truth, I want to present four explanations as to why J.R. Smith forgot the score and forgot what was happening during Game 1 of the NBA Finals:

  1. Maybe J.R. Smith was so caught off-guard with George Hill missing the go-ahead free throw that he froze and couldn’t understand how an 81% playoff free throw shooter could miss such an easy free throw in a game that nobody gave them a chance in. I think J.R. truly didn’t believe it was possible and when the moment happened he didn’t want to believe it so he ran towards the bench with the ball thinking Hill hit it and wanted him to have the game ball.

  2. Maybe J.R. was so caught off-guard with the in-game tweet From Kanye West about his album debut listening party that he forgot the score. Look, I know Kanye’s not the same, but a lot of people still look forward to his new music and J.R. like many were hyped when they saw Kanye would be streaming his album for the masses during Game 1 one of the finals. Unfortunately, Kanye didn’t stream it until after the game so maybe J.R., like me, was frustrated from waiting and lost track of the score.

  3. 14 million possible futures and THIS was the one that worked out? Like many, I’m still struggling to comprehend the end of Infinity War. In fact, sometimes I start thinking about it and forget that I’m driving and find myself in a panic braking really hard. I know financially they can’t kill off all of these characters, but I need to know how THIS was the one way to end Thanos. I know comic book movies bring out the nerd in all of us and I don’t think J.R. is a comic book nerd, but the movie did also bring in a trillion dollars or something so maybe he was just thinking about the end of the Avengers during a pivotal time in the game.

  4. Maybe J.R. is so thankful for LeBron’s guidance in his career that he decided to help open the door for “LeBron has no help in Cleveland and should leave at the end of the year” takes. By being the ultimate friend and teammate, J.R. gave evidence to the NBA world as to why LeBron should leave and try to win a title with another team. If the Cavs win that game and eventually lose the series in 5 or 6, the talk would be about how the Cavs are one piece away from beating the Warriors. Now that they’re facing a sweep, nobody will fault LeBron for leaving the Cavs and all of that started with one, J.R. Smith.

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Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

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