When it comes to being an enforcer, Marcus Smart is a bully for the Boston Celtics. He plays hard defense, he’s scrappy and always chasing after loose balls and he’s the first to defend his teammates when something goes down.
He’s also known for starting a thing or two from time to time.
In tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, he and Joel Embiid got tangled on a play and Smart took offense to the physical play. Enough that he got up after being knocked down and went straight after Joel. The Sixers big man added to the theatrics after being pushed and it started a “hold me back” moment. Obviously, Embiid didn’t want no parts in Smart’s fiery reaction, so he stayed away.
Marcus ended up getting ejected for a Flagrant 2 push, while Joel got a technical foul.
The tide changed from there on out as the Celtics played without one of their defensive anchors and let a 15-point lead slip away.
By the closing seconds, Jimmy Butler hit a clutch jumper to seal the game.
His reaction was priceless.
The win for Philadelphia puts them comfortably in that third seed in the Eastern Conference standings, four games ahead of Boston and three in front of the Indiana Pacers. If they keep this up, they will effectively avoid that 4-5 matchup where they would have played the C’s.
The Celtics have got the better of them for the past few seasons but tonight they finally got over the hump and beat their East rivals.
Highlights of the Celtics vs. 76ers
Can they do it in the postseason, though?