NBA rules Cavs' J.R. Smith will not face discipline for flagrant foul on Horford
The NBA ruled Cleveland's J.R. Smith will not face discipline for his flagrant foul on Boston's Al Horford in Game 2 of the East Finals.
The hard foul by Smith came late in the game when he shoved Horford while he was in air attempting to score.
This led to a scuffle between Smith and Boston's Marcus Smart and the two received technical fouls. Smith picked up the flagrant foul but was not ejected in the game.
Following the loss to Boston, Smith all but admitted what he did was wrong which may have helped him avoid punishment.
Smith has been horrible for the Cavs in this series and on the defensive end. This was a frustration foul but to shove Horford mid-air is putting him at risk of a severe injury.
You got to wonder if the stage was different (regular-season vs. postseason) would the NBA have ruled differently.
I spoke to Celtics writer John Karalis of Red's Army for his take on the NBA's decision.
This sends the message that this kind of dangerous play won't be policed out of the sport.
A flagrant one is not something players typically risk, but they now know that, in a desperate time, they can do it without fearing ejection. This increases the risk of injury and, as we saw with Marcus Smart's reaction, increases the odds of an escalation on the floor.
I'm not suggesting that players will suddenly start pushing other guys in the back, but I'm saying there are a few players out there who are willing to toe that line. The San Antonio Spurs saw Warriors' Zaza Pachilia do something similar with Kawhi Leonard. Players like him don't need another dangerous option for taking out opposing players.
What say you San Antonio Spurs fans? Agree with the NBA's decision? Let me know at @JeffGSpursZone.