Celtics Legend Bill Russell Appreciated Marcus Smart Sticking Up For His Teammate

Celtics Legend Bill Russell Appreciated Marcus Smart Sticking Up For His Teammate

With the Cavaliers hanging in down eight points with four minutes left, Smith shoved a defenseless Al Horford in the back as the Celtics big tried completing an alley-oop. Smith didn't score a point in 27 minutes, shooting 0-for-7 from the field. It's not the first time J.R.'s done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us.

Horford said that Smith's foul was "uncalled for", but added "that's the one thing about the group of our guys, we have each other's backs". They're going to need him to get back in this series. In the wake of the push, Smith was almost attacked by the Celtics' Marcus Smart, leading to technical fouls being assessed to both players. "He's known for it, especially playing against us", Smart said, per the Boston Globe.

The Celtics and Cavaliers face off again in Game 3 on Saturday.

Even JR couldn't argue that the officials made the right call giving him a flagrant for shoving an airborne player. You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up.

"I loved it", Smith said in a dreary visitors dressing room afterward. "It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something, just trying to make sure he didn't get it in". Instead, they unraveled. As Marcus Smart and Al Horford ran a pick-and-roll, Horford rolled to the rim looking for the lob from Smart. "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it". He can't control how his body goes.

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. Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball!

After the game, Smart was asked why he took such significant exception.