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J.R. Smith swings an elbow at the head of Thabo Sefolosha (VIDEO)

Mar 8, 2013, 9:34 PM EDT

This went unnoticed during Thursday night’s closer-than-expected contest between the Knicks and the Thunder, but you can bet that the league will be reviewing it in the days that follow.

With about 5:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, J.R. Smith takes an aggressive swing with his right elbow to the head of Thabo Sefolosha. Thankfully for everyone involved, he missed. But it was a violent attempt, and the intent was clear.

The two were battling physically on this particular possession, and usually when it escalates to the point where one player is taking a swing at another, it’s because little shots here and there have been delivered throughout the game, likely from both sides.

The league isn’t afraid to step in to correct something that the officials at the time ignored completely, and did so just over a week ago when Metta World Peace received a flagrant two foul three days after landing an elbow to the head of Kenneth Faried.

It’ll be interesting to see if the league comes down on Smith for this. The rule book states that a player, coach or trainer must be ejected for a “Technical foul for an attempted punch or swing with no contact or a thrown elbow toward an opponent above shoulder level with no contact.”

That could mean a retroactive flagrant two, a fine, a suspension, or none of the above. We’ll have to wait and see.

[via @dailythunder, @TonyRabensburg]

  1. dannymac17 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    “Technical foul for an attempted punch or swing with no contact or a thrown elbow toward an opponent above shoulder level with no contact.”

    They will suspend and fine Smith

    and turn around and refund Ibaka for his shot to the nuts on Griffin.

  2. patsfan15 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    I don’t think it went unnoticed. They did give him a Technical foul for it.

  3. davidly - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Okay, I think I have a solution for this whole thing: In lieu of a tip-off, have the entire rosters meet at center court. Every player gets a turn (soccer penalty style) at the guy directly opposite him, to either elbow him to the head or punch him in the nuts. First possession goes to the team who clears the court of all but the starting five first.

    (Sorry. I’m in a good mood: Pacers just won by 29 and the Heat’s streak ends on Sunday!)

    • badintent - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Excellent solution. I second the motion(no pun intend ) and the Ays have it !
      I don’t care who wins the game, I just want a huge team fight so tons of players get thrown out and miss the upcoming games with my Knicks.. The Nursing home is now the MASH Unit..

  4. deavn - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:41 AM


  5. joegolfer - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Smith definitely threw a hard elbow at Sefolosha’s head, so he’ll likely get penalized.
    But afterwards, it looks like Sefolosha tried to get even with a shot of his own at Smith.
    It’s difficult to tell with this video, as it cuts off so quickly.

  6. chrismt79 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    I don’t think he was aiming for his head, he should be fine. SMH.

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