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With regards to the Marcus Smart-J. R. Smith fracas in last night's pre-season loss to Cleveland, I did what I always do before proceeding on an article - I watched video repeatedly, almost frame-by-frame. Afterwards, my first reaction was that J. R. Smith is one hell of an annoying son of a bitch.


It started with Aron Baynes and Smith fighting for position near the hoop on an outside shot by Terry Rozier. Terry made the shot, and the rebound never happened, but the fracas did. Aron was doing a masterful job of keeping Smith away from the glass. J. R. had absolutely no chance of gaining position on Aron, and that is when their arms became entangled.

Baynes-ey had had it, and he adeptly shed Smith's carcass. The referees and players separated the two, and here comes Marcus. No physical contact took place between Aron and Smith after the entanglement, but Smart was out for blood - the Wolverine had been let loose. Jayson Tatum's strength increase became very apparent as he and T-Ro took down Marcus, which frankly was a feat that seemed impossible at the time. Take a look at the video/tweet and see what you think



Baynes and Smith received double technicals, and Smart was ejected. A fine for Marcus is almost a certainty. Once again, my commendations to Tatum and Rozier. Marcus was definitely not on a fake "Hold-me-back" mission here. Marcus' two teammates may have saved him from a multi-game suspension.


In the post-game press conference, Marcus was asked, "Are emotions running high for you right now?" His verbal reaction was as follows:

"They're (emotions) the same. Same me. Ain't nothin' changed about me. Ain't nothin' gonna change about me."


Here's one other fact. Ain't nothin' gonna change about J. R. Smith either. Marcus is prepared for a fine, and hopefully that is all that happens. What is my main take from all of this? Thank heaven for Jayson's take-down of Marcus. This could have been much worse. I wrote previously that Smart will not soon (never?) move past the death of his mom, Camellia, and he mentioned her several times in the press conference. His emotions may be at an all-time high. Jayson never hesitated. Watch that portion of the video and you will realize just how badly this could have ended. A. Sherrod Blakely seems to agree with me on Marcus' emotions.


Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Tom Lane 10/07/2018 06:01:00 AM Edit
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