As Al Horford went up to catch a lob from Marcus Smart late in the fourth quarter, Smith dangerously pushed him as he was in mid-air and the big man landed hard on his hip. Smart was having none of it, getting in Smith's face after the foul and speaking candidly about it after the game. But Smith disrupted the play by shoving Horford past the hoop while he was in mid-air, a clear Flagrant 1 foul.
J.R. Smith? Zero points on 0-for-7 shooting. But still, there isn't much that you can say to justify something like this. "He's known for it, especially playing against us", Smart said, per the Boston Globe.
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Even JR couldn't argue that the officials made the right call giving him a flagrant for shoving an airborne player. "That's not why I'm here", Smith said, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "It wasn't like I was trying to lowbridge him or something to make sure he didn't get it".
"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us", he said. Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball! And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot.
The Garden crowd naturally responded with a profane chant directed at Smith, but the Cavs guard said he didn't mind the jeers; in fact, he apparently enjoyed them. "I can understand why they gave me a flagrant". Keep letting the bully keep picking on you, and he's going to keep picking on you. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it". Not only is he arguably the world's most avid celebrity golfer, he might love the game we love more than anyone on this planet.