The NBA really needs to see the error in this one! Levying a $15,000 fine on Marcus Smart after his post-game analysis of the officiating in Saturday's contest against the Rockets went too far. My previous CelticsLife article on the Smart fine indicated that Marcus' comments on Saturday's game were certainly no more out-of-place that James Harden's criticism of the officials from the December 28 Celtics/Rockets contest. And Harden received no fine.

You be the judge. Here are Smart's comments after Saturday's game, followed by Harden's after the December 28 game.

Smart: “When you’re playing a guy like that who gets those types of calls, it’s pretty much like you’re playing in foul trouble. You’ve got to play really certain. You have to be really solid. You can’t really play the defense that you want, because you know nine times out of 10 he’s going to get those calls. It doesn’t matter whether your hands are up or not. He still gets them. We saw that here tonight a few times, and we’ve seen that every other game. He has a way of using his hands, grabbing us, pulling us into him and drawing those fouls. He’s been doing it for a long time. He gets the benefit of the doubt.”

“It happens all around the league. You get certain players who get calls that other guys just wouldn’t get. We all know the rule. We all understand it. Superstars are going to be superstars. We get it. It is what it is. We’ve just got to play.”

Harden: “First of all, I want to know: How do you only have two officials in a national TV game? That’s the first question. But a lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. I mean, how else am I supposed to get open? The guy has two arms wrapped around my whole body.”

My first argument is that Marcus is a four-year veteran and needs to be as respected for his defense as Harden is for his offense. Secondly, I see a difference in angrily protesting a call, or no-call, during the flow of a game as opposed to a post-game protest presented fairly and calmly. Thirdly, why the hell did Smart get fined, and Harden did not? The post-game presentations by both players were as alike as one could imagine. I rest my case! The fine needs to be rescinded.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Matt Stone/Boston Herald

Tom Lane 3/08/2018 05:02:00 AM Edit
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