Celtics vs. Cavaliers: J.R. Smith reportedly will not be punished by NBA for flagrant foul on Al Horford in Game 2
Smith was given a flagrant foul for pushing Horford while the Celtics big man was in mid-air
With just under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Celtics held an eight-point lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Things were looking good for the Celtics, but the Cavaliers certainly weren't out of the game, especially with LeBron James on their side. What they needed was a few stops to give themselves a chance at a comeback. Instead, they unraveled.
The most notable moment came when J.R. Smith decided to shove Al Horford in the back while the Celtics big man was in mid-air going up for an alley-oop. Thankfully Horford was uninjured, but nevertheless Smith's play led to a small fracas, as Marcus Smart got in Smith's face to stick up for his teammate. After a review, Smith was given a , and double technicals were assessed to Smart and Smith.
Now, the league has decided that there will be no further punishment for Smith. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported as much on Wednesday afternoon.
After the game, Smart called Smith's action "dirty," while the Cavaliers guard confessed it was the right decision to give him a flagrant foul. While it may be slightly surprising that Smith won't even be given a small fine for what as a pretty dangerous play, the fact that he won't face any sort of suspension is probably good news for the Celtics.
Smith has been flat out awful on the defensive end in this series, with the Cavs sporting a 117 defensive rating with him on the floor. To put that in perspective, the worst defensive team this season, the Phoenix Suns, had a defensive rating of 110.6. The Celtics probably won't mind that he'll continue to be out there, as it will continue to make life easy for them on the offensive end.
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