Marcus Smart flopped his way into a foul call, so it must be a day that ends in “Y.”
During the third quarter of Tuesday night’s Game 2 between the Celtics and Raptors, the Boston guard delivered an Oscar-worthy performance when he managed to stop a Toronto fast break opportunity by launching himself into Pascal Siakam from behind and falling out of frame.
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Siakam was called for an offensive foul on this play. (Seriously, how do you fall for this)?
Even fellow flop expert Kyle Lowry seemed impressed by the audacity of Smart’s attempt.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse used his challenge on that play, and the call was overturned. Fred VanVleet’s layup counted because he had gathered the ball when Smart made contact with Siakam, who then made a free throw to complete a highly unusual 3-point play.
So, the coach’s challenge system worked, right? Well, not exactly.
If the NBA is going to allow coaches to challenge plays in future seasons, they should be able to keep the challenge if the call is overturned. There’s no reason why Nurse should lose a challenge simply because a referee missed an obvious call.
Perhaps the league is concerned that change would lead to more stoppages, which could break up the flow of the game and hurt the entertainment value. That problem goes back to the same issue, though: The officiating must improve.
For now, let the coaches have their challenges as long as they get it right. The flopping from players such as Smart and Lowry isn’t going to stop, so they’ll probably need them.
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