The Cavaliers are still trying to figure things out, and head coach Tyronn Lue continues to tinker with the lineup. J.R. Smith's role has been in flux this season. He came off the bench to start the season, with newly acquired Dwyane Wade entering the starting lineup. Then, after it became abundantly clear J.R. was salty about that move, he was re-inserted into the starting lineup.
In Tuesday's game against the Suns, though—which the Cavs unsurprisingly won 129-107—J.R. found himself back on the bench. Kyle Korver started in his place. It was the first time J.R. had played in a game and not started since Oct. 21.
Before Tuesday's game, J.R. told ESPN that he and Lue didn't talk about the move. That's because Lue chose to text Smith about it rather than bringing him in to talk about it.
"We didn't talk," Smith told ESPN. "He sent me a text, and I told him, 'No problem.' I didn't know that it was a 'talk.'"
J.R. didn't seem too heartbroken about it.
"That's all right, though," Smith said. "I'm not upset about it. I just wish there would have been more dialogue, I guess."
You'd expect news like that to be delivered in person, though, right? NBA reporters and fans ripped Ty Lue for alerting Smith of his benching via text message.
J.R. is averaging 8.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 36.4 percent from deep. His numbers have dipped as he's struggled to find a rhythm this season.