"He's known for it, especially playing against us". Smart, who had the ideal angle to see Smith's shove on Horford, immediately came to his teammate's defense and a scrum between both teams ensued.
Boston Celtics big man Al Horford was flying to the rim, his arms fully extended above his head, when Smith shoved him in the back. "He's in the air". He can't control how his body goes. It was a very risky play, and Smith was hit with a Flagrant 1 foul.
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. "I blatantly pushed him.I understand why they gave me a flag there". "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it".
Even JR couldn't argue that the officials made the right call giving him a flagrant for shoving an airborne player. "You've got to stand up and that's what I tried to do". "We're just trying to get the win".
Horford, who's shooting 80 percent from the line, shook off the hard foul and went onto make both free throws once again after evading a potential injury. By doing so, it would have nipped this issue in the bud while simultaneously making it clear that protecting players is more important than protecting a team's ability to compete.