Thankfully, the Celtics center wasn't hurt badly on the play and was able to quickly get back up but that didn't stop his teammate Marcus Smart coming to his defence as he took exception to the foul. Predictably, Smart was celebrated by the Celtics crowd while Smith was met with some colorful language by Boston supporters.
It seemed like Smith was heading for a flagrant two for a unsafe act that could have injured Horford, but instead, all he got was a flagrant one. Ultimately, both Smart and Smith were given technicals with the latter also assessed a Flagrant 1 foul. We know he can make shots, but just communication defensive-wise."Smith explained: "We were slow on our coverages".
"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us", he said. "You can't allow that to keep happening". In the 2015 playoffs, Smith tried to get away with a punch to the face of Celtics forward Jae Crowder. We know that. It's like a bully. You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up.
Horford is not known for to be particularly animated, but even he admitted the contact crossed a line.
Horford was grateful for Smart's support, adding: "I felt like it was uncalled for, that type of play".
What Smith did certainly was not just a "good, hard foul". "But that's one thing about the group of our guys, we have each other's backs, and it is what it is". "I blatantly pushed [Horford]".
That means we can expect to see more chippiness between opposing players as they look to gain a psychological and physical advantage. Smith was involved, though he was not alone in those missed assignments."A few miscommunications", coach Tyronn Lue said. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something.
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