Marcus Smart irked by Cavs 'bully' JR Smith's flagrant foul

Tanya Simon
May 16, 2018

As the 4th quarter was winding down and the Celtics were winning comfortably, JR Smith shoved Al Horford in the back as he left his feet on a drive to the basket. "I just looked at it, Al is a defenseless person".

Marcus Smart earned praise from Brad Stevens, LeBron James and probably myriad others for his performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night.

We here at The Loop/Golf Digest love J.R. Smith. He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back.

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Horford's teammate Marcus Smart later called out Smith for his reputation. "He's known for it, especially playing against us", Smart said, per the Boston Globe. "We know that. It's like a bully; you keep letting a bully pick on you, he's going to keep picking on you until you stand up". That's not unusual for a younger group such as the Celtics, and the Cavs are right to expect a shift in bravado and tenacity with Games 3 and 4 at Quicken Loans Arena beginning Saturday. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it". "I blatantly pushed him". "It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something, just trying to make sure he didn't get it in". Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball! "I understand why they gave me a flag there".

"We were awful defensively", said Thompson, who was moved into the starting lineup as coach Tyronn Lue's most obvious game-to-game adjustment but contributed only two rebounds and four points after halftime.

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.

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