Tuesday night in Boston was supposed to be a redemption type night for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and even though LeBron James came out guns blazing with 21 points in the 1st quarter, it wasn't enough as the Celtics mounted a furious comeback to take a 2-0 lead in the ECF.
Smith - who acknowledged he "blatantly pushed" Horford - was issued a flagrant foul upon review.
Smart defended his reaction during the post-game press conference, telling reporters that it wasn't the first time that JR has "done some dirty stuff, especially against us".
"You just can't allow that to keep happening", he said. We know he can make shots, but just communication defensive-wise."Smith explained: "We were slow on our coverages. You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to keep picking on you until you finally stand up, and that's what I tried to do".
What Smith did certainly was not just a "good, hard foul". "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it".
On the play against Horford, Smith couldn't deny what he did.
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. But that's the one thing about the group of our guys: We have each other's backs. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something.
That means we can expect to see more chippiness between opposing players as they look to gain a psychological and physical advantage. Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball!