WALTHAM, Mass. – Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is a little lighter in the pocket after the league hit him with a $5,000 fine for a flop in Boston’s 111-103 Game 3 over Atlanta.
The incident occurred in the fourth quarter with 4:27 to play when Atlanta’s Kyle Korver was trying to get position for a box-out of Smart.
While there was clear contact between Smart and Korver, it was also clear that there wasn’t nearly enough to have resulted in Smart going airborne in what looked like one of those off-the-top-rope WWE moves.
“I was just trying to make winning plays for my team,” Smart said.
And when you look at what he did in the fourth quarter, there was no question that Smart’s play was a pivotal part of Boston’s victory. He made a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth, one put the Celtics ahead 84-80 and a second that broke a 91-all tie. And defensively, he came seemingly out of nowhere to block an Al Horford shot that helped preserve a 104-100 Celtics lead.
Despite those plays, all that most will remember about Smart in the fourth quarter is the flop that made the rounds via social media.
And while most league observers would agree that Smart is earning a well-deserved reputation as an elite defender, flopping is gradually becoming part of the narrative associated with the second-year guard.
While many will cringe at his flopping as being bad for him and the game as a whole, Smart’s intent – even if it is a tad bit misguided by flopping so often – is all about trying to win.
“I believe every player that plays is trying to do everything he can to help his team,” Smart said.