Mar 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson talks with guard J.R. Smith (8) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Late in last night's loss to the Pacers, when the game was already pretty much decided, J.R. Smith got tangled up with Leandro Barbosa and, apparently not thrilled with the entanglement, threw Barbosa to the ground. That was the end of it-- there wasn't a fight or anything-- but the toss alone was determined to be a flagrant-two (not bad as sequels go, but I preferred the original) and got Smith, ya know, tossed.
There was some possibility that Smith would get suspended for the play, but Howard Beck just reported that that won't be the case. He'll just get hit with a fine of up to $35,000. I suppose it's no big deal for Earl, but good LORD that's a lot of money.
Anyway, I think this was the right decision. Smith's play was unnecessary and unsportsmanlike and probably warranted an ejection, but it was really just a simple, minimally threatening retaliation to something Barbosa was doing. Tyson Chandler has committed nearly identical fouls on a couple occasions this season, but managed to avoid serious trouble. This only got blown up because: 1. It's J.R. Smith. 2. There was a bit of conflict last night when Marc Berman thought it totally okay to call Smith a "punk" on Twitter after the game and Smith retweeted it, then apparently called the media "vultures" in the locker room. Pretty hilarious, actually.
I'm happy Smith isn't getting suspended, because the Knicks aren't exactly deep at the moment. I'm also happy that Mike Woodson took him aside today to discuss the whole thing. Cool. Everyone's cool. It's okay.
If you missed the play in question, take the jump for video.