Marcus Smart’s game-tying flop was genius in Heat-Celtics Game 1

The Miami Heat led the Boston Celtics by one point after Jimmy Butler canned a corner three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. As the Celtics inbounded the ball on the sideline following a timeout, Marcus Smart drew a defensive foul on Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. before the pass was thrown.


The Celtics were awarded one free throw, which they made to tie the game. Boston’s Jayson Tatum would miss a three-pointer at the buzzer and the game headed to overtime. Smart drawing a foul in that situation kept the Celtics alive.

Did Smart flop? Let’s say he definitely ‘sold’ the play. Add in Smart’s long and storied reputation for flopping, and it sure feels fair to say.

Watch the play again, and maybe Smart shouldn’t get all the credit. It sure looks like Kemba Walker gave Jones Jr. a slight shove, causing him to fall into Smart on the play. Did the Celtics intentionally draw this up? Probably not, but it helped them tie the game before they ever inbounded the ball.

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