J.R. Smith admits to blatant push on Al Horford in Game 2
One of the scarier moments of Game 2 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics happened near the end of the 4th quarter when Al Horford went up for an alley-oop. Horford was pushed in the back by J.R. Smith and Horford went to the ground.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 16, 2018
Marcus Smart immediately jumped to the defense of his star big man and went after Smith. Smith was ultimately given a flagrant one, along with a technical foul. Many believed that the flagrant one wasn’t enough, but for Smith, he understood exactly what he was doing.
“It was a good call. I blatantly pushed (Horford). It wasn’t like I was trying to low bridge him or something. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t get it. It was a good, hard foul. I understand why they gave me a flag there.”
J.R. Smith on his flagrant: "It was a good call. I blatantly pushed (Horford). It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something. I just wanted to make sure he didn't get it. It was a good, hard foul. I understand why they gave me a flag there." #Cavs #Celtics
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) May 16, 2018
When the referees went to the monitor to review the play, the Celtics fans serenaded Smith with an NSFW chant. One guy who actually enjoyed that chant was Smith, who said after the game he doesn’t want opposing teams fans to like him.
“I love it,” the Cavs guard told reporters, via NESN. “I don’t want the opposing fans to like me. That’s not why I’m here. They can chant and scream all they want, it actually makes me feel better about myself. They know me.”
This will be a storyline to watch more as the series goes on too. Smart isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone, so it will be interesting to see if the feelings from that play, carry on into Game 3 and 4.