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J.R. Smith on guarding Avery Bradley: ‘Apparently he’s like Kobe now, so I can’t touch him’

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers

NBAE/Getty Images

J.R. Smith committed committed four fouls in 19 minutes in the Cavaliers’ Game 1 win over the Celtics.

Half Smith’s fouls were on Avery Bradley, and a third came trying to chase Bradley around a screen.

Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

Watch the above video, which includes all three of Smith’s Bradley-related fouls. Particularly, watch the rest of the possession after Smith’s first foul, which might have been a little questionable.

Smith continues to hound Bradley, and the Cleveland guard could have been called for a legitimate foul at multiple points. That wasn’t atypical for the game.

One of two things is likely happening here:

1. Smith wants to continue guarding Bradley aggressively, and this is his way of jockeying for leeway in Game 2. What the Cavaliers did Sunday worked with Bradley shooting just 3-of-10, including 1-of-6 on 3-pointers.

2. Smith is cranking up his defensive effort to playoff level, and it’s been so long since he’s done that, he’s forgotten what’s acceptable.

Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call from the league office about this comment.