The Boston Celtics blasted away the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, 137-93, and it would’ve been a rather uneventful easy win for a championship contender such as Boston, had it not been for an incident late in the third quarter.
Starting guard Marcus Smart was assessed two technical fouls, which caused him to be ejected with 1:14 left in the period.
Marcus Smart has been ejected 😳 pic.twitter.com/r54yISJbwI
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 26, 2023
Luckily, it had little, if any impact on the game, as Boston was up by 16 at the time and kept extending its lead afterward.
But fans were perplexed as to exactly what happened and why Smart was tossed.
Didn't understand what happened here?? So confused 🤔😕
— Deborah Castro (@DeborahICastro) March 27, 2023
Ref wouldn’t even talk to the coach and tell him why?
— Jenny Martin (@JennyMartin24) March 26, 2023
Some went as far as to blame the referees.
There is no other sport where the refs make it more about them.
— Ⓑ𝓻ⓘάŇ (@WastedTalentBV) March 26, 2023
Grow up @NBAOfficial
— Andrew Caraway (@Caraway6) March 27, 2023
NBA referees have faced lots of criticism for many years as a result of what fans see as biased officiating or even trying to control the outcomes of games or penalizing players for showing emotion that isn’t directed at officials.
But this season it may be going too far, at least in the eyes of some.
The Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young was tossed from a game on Saturday after throwing the ball hard at a referee, and on Sunday, Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was ejected after complaining about a foul called on him that was clearly the correct call.
Many fans and observers want to see referees attempt to de-escalate such situations and only eject players as a last resort.
Regardless, this win was the Celtics’ third in a row, and it brought them 1.5 games within the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best record in the entire NBA.NEXT: NBA Fans React To What Jaylen Brown Said About His Future