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Lue Confirms J.R. Smith will start Game 3

After the Cavaliers dropped Game 2 of the NBA Finals to Golden State, rumors began circulating about potential changes to their starting lineup.

One rumor in particular, that J.R. Smith could possibly lose his starting spot to Iman Shumpert, seemed to gain the most traction.

Head coach Tyronn Lue, however, squashed those rumors fairly quickly at his media availability on Tuesday, when asked about a potential Shumpert/Smith swap.

“I’m not doing it,” he said.

When pressed further and asked if Smith would start Game 3, Lue responded with a simple, “yep.”

Smith has struggled throughout the first two games of the Finals.

Through two games he has just three points on 1-of-6 shooting, and zero assists. In Game 1, his plus/minus rating stood at negative-12. In Game 2, it was even worse at negative-18.

In Game 2 he also notched four personal fouls, making him a liability on the defensive end.

Shumpert on the other hand, had some success in guarding Kevin Durant throughout Game 2, and was more aggressive on offense, scoring six points.

After just 21 minutes of play, however, Shumpert required an IV to combat cramping on Sunday, showing just how fast-paced Game 2 was.

For right now though, Lue is making no major lineup changes despite being in a 0-2 hole for the second straight year, and said the Cavs have no plans to attempt to slow the pace of Game 3.

“We’re not going to change our game because of who we’re playing,” Lue said.

“I’m confident that we can play that way, and we did it last year. A lot of people said we couldn’t. But that’s our game. That’s who we are. And we’re not going to change just because we’re playing Golden State.”

Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation's Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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