With his Cleveland Cavaliers visibly frustrated late in Tuesday night’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics, the always enigmatic J.R. Smith might have committed the dirtiest foul of the playoffs.
It came in the key with Smith going up against Celtics big man Al Horford. The Cavs’ veteran pushed Horford in the back mid-air, leaving him vulnerable to a serious injury as Horford hit the hardwood.
Almost immediately, Celtics guard Marcus Smart came to Horford’s defense. Ultimately, both Smart and Smith were given technicals with the latter also assessed a Flagrant 1 foul.
Here’s the entire play, including the extra curricular activity.
Marcus Smart defending his teammate Al Horford, after the push by Smith on Horford. pic.twitter.com/ZRf0BYoCQk
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) May 16, 2018
Smith and his Cavaliers are lucky that he wasn’t given a Flagrant 2 foul. He could very well have been ejected from the game. There’s no room in basketball for this crap. We also fully expect the NBA to look into this prior to Game 3.
In any event, this stemmed the tied as it related to any potential Cavaliers comeback. Boston would ultimately win the game to take a 2-0 series lead.