Marcus Smart Not Thrilled With Officiating In Celtics’ Loss To 76ers

Smart wasted no time pointing fingers


January 21, 2021

Marcus Smart didn’t even take his jersey off or shower before his postgame media availability Wednesday following the Boston Celtics 117-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

He had some things he wanted to get off his chest, first.

Smart was particularly unhappy with the officiating. Specifically, he was upset with the fact that Joel Embiid went to the free-throw line more than Boston’s entire team, and with the results of a jump ball called late in the game.

“He shot, alone, himself, 21 free throws. Our team shot 20 of them. Can?t beat that,” Smart told reporters during his postgame press conference, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “They shot 36-for-45, we shot 13-for-20 (from the line). Hard to win that way.”

That’s fair. It is hard to win that way, especially when Boston didn’t attempt a single free throw in the entire fourth quarter of an eight-point game.

But Smart also accused the star center of some theatrics.

“It is tough. Especially when we?ve got our hands up a lot of the time and he flails and he gets the call and then down on the other end, we got our guys attacking the rim and getting a lot of contact and we?re just not getting the whistle,” Smart said. “It?s tough to play like that, it?s tough I mean if the roles were reversed I?d do it every time. I?d be on too if every time I threw my arms up or got touched I?m going to the free-throw line. It?s kind of hard not to get in a rhythm that way when you shoot 21 free throws alone and they allow you to hack on the other end.”

Late in the game, 76ers forward Danny Green won a jump ball over Jaylen Brown. Smart didn’t see things so black and white, though, and spent some time arguing with refs following the play.

“I mean, the ball went right to Danny Green,” Smart said, when asked what the altercation was about.

“You should have just given him the ball if you’re just going to throw it right to a side instead of throwing it up the middle. There?s no way Danny Green is out jumping Jaylen Brown and winning that jump ball, I?m sorry.”

Smart’s media availability was cut a bit short by Celtics media relations after that response.

Probably for the better, as Embiid certainly had a rebuttal.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
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