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Marcus Smart: ‘I flop on defense. Your favorite player flops on offense’

Houston Rockets v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 28: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics on December 28, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Marcus Smart flops.

A lot.

A lot, a lot.

But the Celtics guard is trying to defend himself.

Smart on ESPN:

The only difference between me is, I flop on defense. Your favorite player flops on offense. That’s the only difference. Especially in a game where the offense has nothing but the advantage, the defense has to do something to get the advantage back. So, the offensive guy can put his hands on you. He can touch you as much as he wants. But the minute you touch him, it’s a foul. So, you’ve got to draw attention to the officials to let them know, hey, it’s working both ways now.

Smart has a point. The NBA has gotten more offensive-oriented. Last season’s rule adjustment on fouling made it even more difficult on defenders. It takes tricks to stop opponents.

But this won’t earn him much sympathy outside Boston, where his team affiliation automatically makes his message well-received.

We don’t like offensive players flopping either.

Sure, James Harden has a ton of fans. His elite offense draws support. But nobody likes him because he flops. People just tolerate it to varying degrees. When the Rockets tried especially hard to exploit landing-zone rules in last season’s playoffs, nearly everyone turned on Houston.

As someone who really enjoys defense, I wish Smart would stop flopping. He was so fun to watch defend before he added that to his game. He has been up and down with his flopping proclivity since, but there’s still plenty of room to cut back.

He doesn’t sound eager to adjust, though.