If the Cavaliers' are looking for a scapegoat after burying themselves against the Celtics, they have an easy option in J.R. Smith. Both players were assessed technical fouls, and Smart was dragged away to his bench, still turning and yelling at Smith, who looked relatively impassive.
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics is held back after getting into an altercation with JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (not pictured) in the second half during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
After the game, which the Boston Celtics won to take a commanding 2-0 series lead, Smart didn't mince words when asked about Smith. 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.
With the Cavs down eight and less than four minutes remaining, Smith was called for a blatant flagrant foul on the Celtics' Al Horford. Teammate Marcus Smart quickly rushed in to yell at Smith about his actions. This is not the first time JR's done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us.
"The hardest part is when you can't score and they keep scoring", he said. Keep letting the bully keep picking on you, and he's going to keep picking on you. "I blatantly pushed him", he said. "It wasn't like I was trying to lowbridge him or something to make sure he didn't get it". He can't control how his body goes. On Tuesday, Smith was 0-for-7 shooting for no points.
After the game, Smart was asked why he took such significant exception.