JR Smith Dismisses Claim Cavaliers Tanked to Avoid Wizards in Playoffs

Capital One Arena 7:00 p.m. ET

Capital One Arena 7:00 p.m. ET

In an appearance Friday on ESPN's "The Jump", the Washington Wizards guard was asked where he thinks the team stands in the Eastern Conference.

A year ago during the regular season, Cleveland beat Washington twice in three chances, though the one win for Wall and Co. did come late in the season as both teams were gearing up towards the playoffs.

"That's just the way I feel", Beal said Friday before the Wizards hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). "I always said that".

And as we've seen so far this season, the Cavs once again don't look like a team that plans on peaking any time before April.

Only Wall and the league's reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, are averaging point-assist double-doubles so far this season.

Communication on the floor is their biggest issue. However, with the way that Porter has been playing, if he's open, he should take it.

"I just don't understand that we tanked [to miss] them, and they went to seven games against a team that was a number one seed and they lost", Smith told ESPN. "That's one of the best teams to be assembled".

"He had an fantastic game, but at the same time, we got to respect what he does and what he brings to the game".

Smith said the Cavs didn't discuss the Wizards' barbs in the locker room before the game, but they clearly resonated to some degree. Keef is a player who doesn't give up, and fights from tipoff to the final buzzer.

The Wizards will get Markieff Morris back soon and that will help with depth, allowing Oubre to return to a sixth man role (where he should thrive, he's been impressive this year as well).

"I think if you look at a year ago, people might say they did or didn't, but I think they didn't want the number one seed for a reason because we would've played them in the second round", Wall told ESPN's Rachel Nichols and Paul Pierce, referring to Cleveland.

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