INDEPENDENCE: J.R. Smith was out shooting with his teammates at practice on Tuesday, but that will be the extent of his work for a while. Smith will miss the first two games of the Cavs’ upcoming conference semifinals series for punching the Boston Celtics’ Jae Crowder on Sunday.

It’s the seventh suspension of Smith’s career totaling 29 games missed, and Cavs General Manager David Griffin conceded he was disappointed in Smith’s behavior.

“I was disappointed and I know he was,” Griffin said Tuesday, adding Smith tried apologizing to him for the incident. “I told him he doesn’t need to apologize for anything, we just need to move on. He’s in the heat of the battle, he’s a competitor and that’s what happened. Just go from there.”

Smith did not speak with reporters Tuesday, but expressed remorse on his Instagram account after the suspension was announced Monday.

“Not the player I want to be not the player I want my teammates an [sic] family to see not the person I want the fans to see but I will be better!” Smith wrote. “I must be better as a player an [sic] as a Person!”

Smith has offered other eloquent apologies following past transgressions. Smith’s character has been questioned for years and was again in the weeks after the Cavs acquired him from the New York Knicks.

He was a model citizen since the trade. LeBron James spoke of how Smith has been misunderstood throughout his career and Smith wrote in an article recently, “Now that I am in Cleveland, though, it seems as though people are finally starting to get to know the real me.”

Before this suspension, the league suspended Smith one game for striking Glen Rice in the groin, five games for violating the anti-drug program, one game for throwing an elbow at Jason Terry during a playoff game, seven games for his guilty plea from a 2007 car accident that resulted in the death of a passenger and 10 games for a fight with Nate Robinson that ended up in the front row of fans.

He was also suspended three games by the Denver Nuggets when he played there for conduct detrimental to the team.

Smith is affable and well-spoken. His Cavs teammates seem to genuinely like him, but trouble always finds him. And now it has struck at the worst possible time.

Players can appeal lost wages because of suspensions, but they cannot appeal the number of games. Cavs personnel spent much of Monday on the phone with the league stating their case regarding Smith and the entire series with the Celtics, but Griffin seemed unhappy with the suspension.

“If I felt like it would change the outcome, I would share with you what my reaction was” to the suspension, Griffin said. “Our team has dealt with adversity really, really well and we have a lot of grown men in that locker room who know what they need to do and I’m counting on them to do that.”

Now what?

Coach David Blatt wasn’t offering many answers to how he plans to replace Smith and Kevin Love in his lineup.

Iman Shumpert seems the most likely solution at shooting guard, although replacing Love is a bit trickier.

Tristan Thompson has been the first big off the bench all season, but playing Thompson next to Timofey Mozgov disrupts the floor balance the Cavs have worked so hard to create.

It will also force them to rely on Kendrick Perkins for more minutes than perhaps they’re comfortable with him playing.

Blatt has started James Jones at power forward this season, which maintains the floor spacing. But Jones, of course, isn’t a rebounder like Love.

Regardless, the Cavs’ offense will inevitably look different than it has since the trades to acquire Smith, Shumpert and Mozgov.

“Those are two of the biggest spacers on our team,” James said. “It will change a little bit depending on the lineups that are going to be out on the floor. We will make the proper adjustments that will benefit us.”

Getting physical

Throughout the series with the Celtics, Blatt downplayed the physical nature of the games and dismissed it as simply “playoff basketball.” Now, however, he believes a line was crossed.

“There’s a level of physicality and aggressivity that you see, that I defined as ‘playoff basketball,’ and I think there’s also a limit and I thought that line was crossed on more than one occasion,” he said. “And that’s what the league is for, to police that stuff.”

Jason Lloyd can be reached at jlloyd@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.