Hours after John Wall and Bradley Beal said they believed the Washington Wizards are the class of the Eastern Conference and that the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted no part of their team last spring, Cavs guard JR Smith responded to their comments with disdain. "If you look at last year ... I think they didn't want that No. 1 seed for a reason, because we would have played them in the second round," Wall said during an interview with ESPN's The Jump. Beal made a similar insinuation to CSN Washington in May, after the fourth-seeded Wizards were eliminated by the top-seeded Boston Celtics in seven games, that the Cavs purposely ducked the Wizards in the playoffs by tanking games late in the regular season to avoid the matchup. "Cleveland didn't want to see us," Beal said in May. "I always said that. I felt like that's the reason they didn't play us in the second round. They didn't want to see us in the second round. If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals. They didn't want to go down in the second round." After the Cavs' 130-122 victory over Washington on Friday, Smith told ESPN that he thought the Wizards guard's claim didn't make sense. "I just don't understand that we tanked [to miss] them, and they went to seven games against a team that was a No. 1 seed and they lost," Smith told ESPN. "So, how did we tank?" Cleveland went 4-7 in the final 11 games of the 2016-17 regular season and fell to the No. 2 seed in the East. The Cavs swept the No. 3-seeded Toronto Raptors in the second round before beating the Celtics in five games in the conference finals.
JR Smith disputes Bradley Beal's claim Cavs tanked to duck Wizards in playoffs
ESPN | Nov 4