Posted April 28, 2013

NBA suspends Knicks’ J.R. Smith for flagrant elbow to Celtics’ Jason Terry

2013 NBA playoffs, Ben Golliver, Boston Celtics, J.R. Smith, Jason Terry, New York Knicks

The NBA announced Saturday that Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been suspended one game without pay for delivering an elbow to Celtics guard Jason Terry that was deemed a flagrant foul 2 during a 90-76 Game 3 win on Friday night in Boston.

Smith will serve his suspension during Game 4 on Sunday.

With a little more than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and New York leading 78-59, Smith appeared to intentionally swing his right elbow into Terry’s head and neck area in an attempt to create space so he could operate on the perimeter. The blow sent Terry crashing to the floor and, once he popped up, had to be restrained from going after Smith by teammate Jeff Green.

A video review of the play led the referees to assess a flagrant foul 2, which requires an automatic ejection. The flagrant foul 2 designation applies to fouls that are deemed both “unnecessary and excessive.” All flagrant fouls are reviewed by the NBA league office and are subject to possible further discipline that could include a fine and/or suspension.

Smith departed with 15 points (on six-for-12 shooting), four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 24 minutes. Smith and Knicks coach Mike Woodson provided their post-game reactions to the New York Times.

“I was trying to draw the foul,” Smith said. “He reached in one time. I thought he was going to reach in again a second time. I was going to try to get a quick shot off, but they made a call that the refs saw. Not really much I could do about it.”

“He’ll learn from it,” Woodson said. “I don’t think he was trying to hurt the kid.”

The Knicks, the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed, hold a 3-0 series lead over the Celtics, the East’s No. 7 seed. New York can clinch its first playoff series victory since 2000 with a Game 4 win.

Smith, 27, averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals this season, earning NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors. He is on the books for $2.8 million; a one-game suspension will cost him roughly $25,000.

4 comments
KenKing
KenKing

That same exact action happens on virtually every rebound in the NBA. The only reason that this one was called - an that it looked so flagrant - was that Terry  was fouling him and crowding him. I am no JR Smith apologist: I have never liked the guy that much. However, if the officials constantly make that call, eject and suspend players, they will quickly find that there are not enough players on a roster to actually play a 48 minute game. Karl Malone would not be a Hall of Famer, because he would have spend nearly half his career suspended for flying elbows..

Big E
Big E

@KenKing  What ever you think about rebounds is irrelevant. I personally can't stand people like JR Smith - pre-madonna, attitude problem, too many tats - grow up already. But why isn't the NBA suspending he refs for the slap chop reach in foul that Terry gave to Smith seconds before he (Smith) got pissed and elbowed him. Every time I look at this play I can't believe a reach in and possibly technical at that was not called. If a foul was called then Smith doesn't do what he did - which by the way I am fine with cause no grown man like to get slapped. And the NBA should be telling he refs that that needs to be called so things do not escalate. I dont care what city it is in, and yes Boston always  gets away with this kind of dirty play.

ParishToni1
ParishToni1

@KenKing  

No way. That does NOT happen on every rebound in the NBA. There are some guys who hold their elbows out after a rebound to prevent someone from reaching in and stripping the ball, but not every player does it.  The big difference between that and what smith did is that when it happens on a rebound, the player will just hold his elbows out before the player reaches in so as to not hit that player with an elbow.  What smith did was swing his elbow straight at terry's head. Huge difference. These guys are professional athletes and have been playing this game since they were little.  They know exactly what they are doing and smith intentionally swung his elbow at terry's head. Having said that, I personally would like to shake smith's hand for doing what most NBA players and fans would like to do to terry. 

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@KenKing Crowding is also called playing defense.  There is a difference between flying elbows and flying elbows that hit another player in the head.