Celtic Nation's got to stick together. Throughout a roller-coaster season for the C's, that mentality has been a constant.
Even without two of their stars due to season-ending injuries, Boston has remained unrattled. Rather, they've banded together and have become a well-oiled machine reminiscent of the San Antonio Spurs that won championships despite rarely looking like the league's most fearsome team on paper
There's no real superstar suiting up night in and night out for the Boston Celtics, but they have proven to be one of the best collectives in the entire league. When one of their brothers gets knocked down, they're quick to stand tall and intervene. And that kind of unity is certainly something Hall of Famer Bill Russell can get behind.
With the C's holding a healthy nine point lead with just over three and half minutes remaining in Game 2, Marcus Smart set up Al Horford with a nice lob to the rim that the big man sure to finish in ferocious fashion.
However, J.R. Smith wasn't having that.
Smith rotated over on the play and decided that he was going to break up the alley-oop by any means necessary. His shameless shove earned him a well-deserved flagrant foul that immediately sprang Smart into action on behalf of his teammate.
In the game of basketball, pushing someone in the back who's defenseless in mid-air is one of the more dangerous plays imaginable. There's really no telling how Horford could have fallen, and the Celtics are very lucky that he had a soft landing.
The play was pretty dirty on Smith's part. Smart had every right to stand up for his guy. And when one of the game's all-time greats is boosting you up for your actions, you know you're doing something correctly.