Marcus Smart is the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, known for his tough defense and incredible deflection skills. Unfortunately, when Smart managed to fend off the ball and disrupt the Chicago Bulls’ fast break, referee Marc Davis was beaten.
Smart pushed DeMar DeRozan’s pass directly into the official’s shoulder. Then, as Davis ducked and Smart tried to save the ball, the Celtics guard ended up knocking it off Davis’s head. After taking possession out of bounds, the Bulls earned a layup from Ayo Dosunmu.
It’s typical play for Smart, who became the only two-time NBA Hustle Award winner last season. He plays with a ton of effort, but he also accidentally hurts people on occasion.
The Celtics’ relationship with the umpires did not improve, as Davis gave coach Joe Mazzulla two techniques and his first career ejection later in the third quarter. Funnily enough, it happened after officials called two fouls in favor of Boston, but Mazzulla appeared to be arguing for a technical foul on Jayson Tatum minutes earlier.
This is Mazzulla’s fourth game as NBA head coach. Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire appeared to take on the clipboard responsibilities after Mazzulla left the pitch.