J.R. Smith: Cavaliers should expect ‘dirty plays’ and ‘cheap shots’ from Celtics in Game 2


A Kelly Olynyk arm hold here, an Isaiah Thomas ankle grab there and a little Marcus Smart feistiness – the Cavaliers overcame the Celtics’ shenanigans in a Game 1 win last night.

What does Cleveland expect from Boston in Game 2?

J.R. Smith, via Fox Sports Ohio:

For them to come out swinging, playing scrappy like they do. They’ve been playing like that all year. Whenever their backs up against the wall, they tend to play better, just like we do. So, we just got to expect that and understand there might be dirty plays, might be cheap shots or whatever coming from the other side, just because they’re fighting for their lives at this point. So, we just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing.

Smith isn’t calling the Celtics dirty. He’s just saying the Cavs should prepare for dirtiness – a suitable safeguard against a team that often toes the dirty/gritty line.

Cleveland felt the price of that in 2015, when Kelly Olynyk ripped Kevin Love‘s shoulder out of place. Olynyk hasn’t stayed above the fray since, and Boston has embraced a scrappy identity.

The Cavaliers should be on guard, whether the Celtics do something objectionable in Game 2 or not.