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J.R. Smith’s flagrant foul injures Goran Dragic (VIDEO)

Dec 26, 2012, 11:53 PM EDT

Well, this is certainly one way to go about winning when your team is missing two of its starters.

The Knicks came limping into Phoenix on Wednesday, with both Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton unable to go due to injuries suffered in the team’s Christmas Day loss to the Lakers.

That just meant more shots for J.R. Smith, who didn’t get the start, but played a team-high 37 minutes while also leading the team in shot attempts with 27.

He only made 11 of those attempts, but the last two he hit were big-time difference-makers that gave his team the 99-97 road victory.

It probably didn’t hurt New York’s chances that the Suns were without their starting point guard Goran Dragic for the entire second half, after Smith took him out on this flagrant foul just before halftime.

This play is not only just as bad as the one that got Dwight Howard immediately ejected in Denver on this same night, but given Dragic’s vulnerable in-air position, along with the fact that Smith had zero chance of making a legitimate defensive play here, it’s actually much worse.

The only thing that could have come of Smith making contact with an airborne Dragic was exactly what ended up happening — an injury. That’s the type of play that deserves to be ruled a flagrant-two, but instead, the officials decided it was harmless enough to allow him to remain in the game.

Tell that to Dragic, who missed the second half with a combination wrist/back/hip injury.

Smith added the proverbial insult in the game’s final possessions by hitting two very tough shots, but after watching this play a few times, it appears he shouldn’t have been able to continue to play in this game to the point where he had the opportunity to do so.

  1. millytone0621 - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    This article is totally crazy. You can clearly see jr smith judge whether to block the shot and then try to avoid dude. I felt no flagrant should have been called at all. I do feel bad for gordon because the fall was terrible and i like him, i know his pain is terrible right now but this is a clear reputation foul call. #bogus

  2. losanginsight - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    NBA is fixed if Smith didn’t get kicked out for this and D12 got the boot without injuring another player. Thanks Stern

    • huffdaddyco - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      Wait. So, the criteria for ejection is an actual injury? I don’t think so. Also, the NBA fixing games for Denver over LA? Wow. Just, wow.

      • football58 - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

        Denver was beating LA with or without Howard idiot. Watch the game before you open your moronic mouth.

    • jolink653 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Smith tried avoiding contact and bumped Dragic, Howard face-palmed Faried and laid him out…Big difference between the two, but I wouldn’t expect an LA homer to know the difference

  3. moseskkim - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    That was a dirty play. Didnt look like he intentionally wanted to hurt him but nevertheless can’t have that kind of play. That is so dangerous.

  4. djjackson81 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Ironic how Smith pulls a move like that and then stays in the game to hit buzzer beater. He should be fined by Stern

    • badintent - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      You mean by Stern’s right hand man. Stern is too busy counting his $$$

      • mazblast - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        Stern is the Carlo Gambino of the NBA. Says nothing publicly, has his minions do the “communicating”.

        Looks like a flagrant foul to me. He could have avoided contact, but went for the hip.

  5. badintent - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    J.r. IS STILL messed in the head from his time in China 2 much MSG !!!

  6. kavika6 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    That deserves a suspension. His play is as filthy as his tatoo-covered body.

    • pglive21 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      It was a dirty play but there’s no need to propagate stereotypes.

  7. nokoolaidcowboy - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Knicks fan letting you know that was some dirty stuff right there. JR could’ve pulled up. Hoping that Coach Woody will still take the young man aside and remind him that HE (JR) wouldn’t like being on the end of a play like that.

  8. djeter220 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    The play might have been careless, but I do not think it was dirty. Watching the replay, it looks like he’s just giving up on the play and trying to run past it, and turns his left shoulder to avoid contact with Dragic. It was a foul either way, I just don’t think it looked intentional.

  9. acdc363 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Not a fan of either team but that wasn’t a dirty play he just flung himself in the aor carelessly like someone above me said. D12’s foul was much worse.

  10. BigBeachBall - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    that fall could have ended goran’s season… and nobody from phoenix got in jr smith’s face afterwards… intersting….

  11. dysraw1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    seen much dirtier plays this season already it looked though JR swept his legs out from under him,which would call for a lot of awareness & slight of hand to be done intentionally. if JR. is that adept at being dirty.then the league has a real problem.

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