Marcus Smart was ejected in the third quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Ultimately, it sparked the team to emerge with the win, but there was concern over a possible suspension. Considering the fact that Smart charged out of nowhere to attempt to swing at Deandre Bembry, many suspected that Smart would receive at least a 1-game suspension.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $35,000 for physical altercation and failure to leave court in timely matter on Saturday night.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 21, 2019
For the second time this year, Smart avoids suspension after being held back by Jayson Tatum.
Despite causing a scuffle, there are a few reasons we could speculate on that would explain why a suspension-worthy play might not led to a suspension for Smart in this instance. For one, Smart wasn’t actually ejected when he charged at Bembry. His second technical came during a simple conversation when the referee ran all the way from out of the frame to throw Smart out of the game.
Marcus Smart appeared to take exception to the fact that he was thrown out for having a conversation with Bembry, and then moments later was when he charged through to escalate the situation. This explains not leaving the court in a timely manner post-ejection as part of the fine.
Here's another angle of Smart's run at Bembry pic.twitter.com/GXHlgRr5IZ— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) January 20, 2019
Additionally, the second technical foul in question did not seem technical-worthy, and the league office might have taken into consideration that this whole situation was a case of what appears to be bad refereeing. I’m not going to speculate on what Bembry said or didn’t say to Smart and vice versa, but the referee really leaped out of nowhere to escalate the situation. Although Smart and Bembry looked like their conversation was heating up, it didn’t nearly escalate to the point of it being technical worthy at the point in which the referee jumped in.
Bad refereeing, and as a result, the league office may have given Smart a break. In any case, Smart and the Celtics will suit up to avenge their earlier loss this season against the Miami Heat tonight in Boston at 6PM EST. Smart’s averaging 7.9 points and 4 assists on a career-high 41% from the field and 36.8% from 3. The Celtics will be happy to have him tonight to kick off a 5-game homestand.