Boston Celtics fans love Marcus Smart. Smart isn’t a flashy scorer or a knockdown shooter, but he’s resonated with the fanbase as a player who will do whatever it takes to win. Occasionally, that pathos will get the better of him. That’s exactly what happened in the third quarter of Game 2 in Boston’s second round series against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA playoffs.
As Raptors guard Fred VanVleet pushed the ball on a fastbreak for a layup, Smart intentionally ran into Toronto’s Pascal Siakam to try to draw a foul. It was a blatant flop attempt by Smart.
For as shameless as this was, it actually worked, at least at first. The initial ruling on the court was a foul on Siakam before the basket counted. After Raptors coach Nick Nurse challenged the play, officials reversed the call, giving the bucket to VanVleet, and awarding a free throw to Siakam.
Here’s another angle:
Vintage Marcus Smart flop pic.twitter.com/bYFKbSlkut— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) September 1, 2020
Smart responded by catching fire in the fourth quarter, hitting five three-pointers in the period to help the Celtics to a 102-99 win.
The Celtics are now up 2-0 on Toronto in the second round series. Smart may have tried to grift his way into a ridiculous foul, but Boston doesn’t win Game 2 without him.