Celtics' Marcus Smart could be suspended for this way-too-aggressive postgame tirade

Sporting News

Celtics guard Marcus Smart knows he has to take a walk to the principal's office. He's just wondering how bad the punishment will be.

After a 129-120 overtime loss to the Nets at TD Garden on Tuesday, Smart unleashed his fury on a referee and had to be escorted off the floor while aggressively pointing and yelling in the ref's direction. It doesn't take an expert lip reader to understand Smart was not sharing kind words.

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Smart didn't speak with reporters following the loss, but it feels safe to assume he was upset with the foul call that gave Nets guard Caris LeVert the opportunity to send the game to the extra period.

With 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation and the Celtics leading by three, LeVert caught an inbound pass and was immediately surrounded by three Boston defenders. As he rose up for a Hail Mary 3-pointer, Smart clearly swiped across LeVert's left arm. The whistle stopped the clock with just 0.2 seconds left, and LeVert drained all three free throws.

LeVert then continued to torture the Celtics, scoring all 11 of Brooklyn's overtime points on the way to victory. Smart may have been enraged by the call, but the real problem was Boston's inability to stop LeVert, who finished with 51 points on 17-of-26 shooting.

To make matters worse, both Jaylen Brown (hamstring) and Gordon Hayward (knee) were forced to leave the game with injuries. Jayson Tatum was already out with an illness, and Kemba Walker had just returned from his own knee injury. Now Smart could be suspended.

Ahead of Wednesday night's contest against the Cavaliers, Celtics coach Brad Stevens isn't even sure how many players will be available.

"I have no idea who's going to Cleveland," Stevens said after the loss (via NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg). "I think most of the coaches are going. I just want eight, nine guys, whoever's going to play hard, let's go. Like, that was ridiculous."

Well, we know the coaches will be there. Smart, on the other hand, might have to stay home if the NBA really wants to send him a message about proper court etiquette.

UPDATE: Fortunately for the Celtics, Smart avoided a suspension. The NBA announced Thursday that Smart has been fined $35,000 for "confronting and verbally abusing game officials."

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