Not having Marcus Smart around for most of the second half of loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday night proved costly to the Celtics.
And as we discovered Thursday, there will also be a cost to Smart — a hefty one, mind you.
The NBA announced that Smart, who was ejected after he “forcefully” pushed Sixers center Joel Embiid in the back and to the ground in the third quarter, will be fined $50,000 for the incident.
The league announced the higher-than-usual fine amount was due to “repeated acts of unsportsmanlike conduct during NBA games, including two prior incidents this season which have resulted in fines.”
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Smart was fined $25,000 for his role in a pushing incident with Cleveland’s JR Smith during the preseason and was fined $35,000 in January for an incident involving him and Hawks guard De’Andre Bembry.
The latest flareup involving Smart occurred in the third quarter after Embiid delivered a screen that sent Smart tumbling to the floor.
Smart rose to his feet soon afterward and, with Embiid’s back to him, Smart ran up and delivered a two-handed push that sent Embiid to the floor.
Players from both teams, as well as the officials, stepped in between the two to prevent the incident from escalating.
Boston went on to lose the game 118-115, but at the time of the incident, the Celtics were ahead by double figures.
While Smart’s absence wasn’t the reason why Boston lost the game, it stands to reason that not having their best perimeter defender around didn't help.
Still, that doesn’t make the disappointment any less for his teammates and coaching staff.
“I’m disappointed in Marcus [Smart],” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens after the loss. “We need you; [Aron] Baynes is already out. We need him to be in the game, no matter what happened. We needed that to happen.”'
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