J.R. Smith Suspended For Game 4


BOSTON — The NBA announced Saturday night that J.R. Smith is suspended for Sunday’s Game 4 (1 p.m. ET, ABC) of the Knicks-Celtics series, a result of Smith’s elbow to the head of Jason Terry in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

With Terry playing Smith tightly in the corner, the Sixth Man of the Year turned and intentionally swung his elbow, knocking Terry to the floor. After getting up, Terry tried to go after Smith, but he was held back by teammates and Celtics coach Doc Rivers as Smith retreated to the Knicks bench.

“I was trying to draw the foul,” Smith said after the game. “He reached in one time. I thought he was going to reach in a second time and I was going to try to get a quick shot off, but they made a call that the refs saw and there’s not really much I can do about it.”

Smith’s absence will make it more difficult for the Knicks to complete a series sweep. At 16.3 points per game, he’s New York’s second-leading scorer in the series, a key secondary option when the Celtics are loading up on Carmelo Anthony, and a guy that can make difficult shots when an offensive possession breaks down, a scenario which has played out quite a bit in the first three games. It’s been an ugly series and any offense is good offense.

The Knicks didn’t know Smith’s fate when they met with the media Saturday afternoon, but they knew that a suspension was a possibility.

“If it happens, we got other guys in uniform that’s got to step up and play,” coach Mike Woodson said. “It’s kind of been that way all year when we’ve had injuries. Guys have stepped up and helped us win basketball games. So if J.R.’s missing, we’ve got to be ready to put guys in and play. I don’t know who’s going to play the minutes, but we’ll figure it out as we go along.”

Smith was the only Knick to play the first 80 games of the season before sitting out the final two, and he led the team in minutes played. Despite all their injuries, Smith never started. But Woodson has consistently called on him early in the first quarter.

In Smith’s absence, we should see extended minutes for Jason Kidd (who has averaged only 28 in the first three games) and a bigger role for Steve Novak, who hit his first two threes of the series in Friday’s Game 3 victory.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. I’m watching game 5 of the Kincks & Celtics
    GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. @ digitioli-yeah ok pal- & everybody else in the world who watched it saw something else-like-what the refs called-lmao-what planet are you living on.

  3. digitioli says:

    Terry fouled him hard and then flopped.
    The NBA has no standard for what a foul is anymore and it has ruined the game.
    NBA = Not Basketball Anymore

  4. @ nyk-LOL-are serious comparing that petty stuff & Terry instigating a fight-lol u are hilarious & just out right lying because u know jr was trying to instigate the fight-most people would stand there for it & not run like jr did-LMAO-he elbows Terry in the face & then runs-takes after his teammate melo-nuff said!

  5. Flamengo says:

    new york vai ser campeão da nba com show de melo e smith !!! chora miami

  6. BJ says:

    he did it on purpose thats why he didnt even respond, he just walked away. He knew what he did and the way the game is played and regulated today he should have known he would get suspended for it.

  7. NYK says:

    Watching the video again and again. There were a lot of calls that can be called before JR’s elbow.
    1. KG defensive violation
    2. JT loose ball
    3. JT reaching
    JT should also be called a T for his attempt to trigger a fight.

  8. @ snook-KG has never played dirty even in minn-like all players especially bigs, KG just plays physical with the scope of the game cause he’s just a hard working player-neva eva dirty like what jr did.

    @ Lem-LMAO-I Agree-You said that 100% right & there’s a reason for that! 🙂

  9. OHH Yeah,by the way, all jr did was piss The Jet off real bad-hmm-good luck w/ that one ny! 🙂

  10. LMAO-first of all ny fans, put away the brooms because it was neva eva gonna happen-eva-neva-eva! Listen, like forreal-like i said before i’m die hard Celts fan but i have no prob calln out a Celt for a dirty shot at all because i’m a fan of the game period bout as much as i love my Celts. For yall to excuse it or just outright lie is just as dirty as the hit itself, hence that means yall are dirty also! LOL-then to say Terry flopped-really-unlikely, even if he didn’t fall as a result of the intentional elbow, the punishment was warranted-like i said above-that is just as bad as an all out fist punch or worse because of ur elbow bone can cause more damage than a fist which is why u can’t even elbow in the octagon (mma, ufc, etc). It’s ok though, you ny fans know the Real Truth when you talk about bad calls-yall know what i’m saying-the 1st 2 games in ny-the refs made sure knicks stayed close w/ bad calls, freethrows, & Celts best players in foul trouble both games. Granted the Celts played a horrible 3 quarters in 2 ny games & if not for the refs could have easily come back to Boston up 2-0-but the powers that be-aka stern-wouldn’t have that-comon & admit it ny but yall won’t cause yall can’t handle The Truth! Remember that history gets made all the time!

  11. wdrums0 says:

    What about the way JT pushed past the ref during his ‘run’ at Smith? I thought there were penalties for unnecessary contact with officials??

  12. Lem says:

    Jr smith- 6th man of the year- NO RING. Jason terry- 6th man of the year- 1 ring

  13. Dave says:

    I think it is very unprofessional for the journalist to describe the elbow as “intentional” as if that were undeniable fact. Neither he nor the referees can read J.R.s mind. I’m also of the opinion that the NBA makes more money if the storied Boston Celtics franchise avoids a sweep and, let’s face it, the league is all about making money.

  14. ee says:

    clearly a ploy on the nba’s part to avoid the inevitable sweep of the boston celtics anyone who doesnt realise that is stupid think of other incidents during the year that were much worse than that and only fines were handed out

  15. Cuban B says:

    That’s stupid. Any of you guys ever been hit in the face like that? Did you fall backwards 3 feet then fall down? Terry totally flopped on that one. He got the call, so I guess he won that one. But it’s still cheap.

    • MikeyPDowntownFor3 says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you…. I hate that little weasel. Won’t get those cheesy play acting calls in MSG on Wednesday though. Made me sick to hear that JR got suspended for that

  16. Thunda says:

    All you people saying jr deserved to get more then one game is mad celtics fans huh but y’all still gonna lose so bring in that broom Haters!!!!! Lol he got one an that’s still not gonna help bye bye Knicks nation

  17. biids says:


  18. MikeyPDowntownFor3 says:

    I’ve seen this clip many times already. Honestly, if you were whacked in the face by an elbow, you’d either be grabbing it in pain for a second or two, or on the ground counting stars. This may gets tons of negative feedback, but hey Jason Terry is quite an actor I’ll give him that

    Don’t really agree with this call, but its whatever. Sweep is still possible, and at best Knicks walk away from this boring series in 5

  19. moron says:

    they should’ve given him 5 games suspension

  20. sanjay says:

    celtics are gonna get one back I think! Let us see!

  21. OctoPPus says:

    For preventing such actions NBA sholud put them to public work –

    LET THEM SWEEP THE FLOOR – before the home crowd –

    If no – OUT !!

  22. darkness says:

    Not worthy of a suspension at all! especially in the playoffs. The league just trying to extend the 1st round to sell tickets. There might be 3 sweeps which will cost the league.

    • ee says:

      exactly too many boston fans nba dont want them out in 4 like they should be what a horrible team they have

  23. vern says:

    Also, if you look close in the slo mo you’d see the elbow didn’t even connect. It was meant to connect but didn’t. It was a flop. Look close. The make believe run at JR was fake too.

  24. Lac says:

    Bad call from the officials, I seen these plays all the time in the NBA, it’s a regular foul, somtimes even a non-call. Smith and the Knicks organization need to appeal and reverse the decision made by the NBA. Justice needs to be served||||||||||||

  25. vern says:

    The refs were inconsistent the whole game. Yes it looked on purpose and deserved a call maybe even a flagrant 1. There were worse in the very same game right in front of the ref that went uncalled. I do believe if it wasn’t the Knicks there would’ve been no suspension and it would’ve been downgraded. Especially in a playoff game. Another bonehead move by JR . He’s been good at avoiding bonehead moves lately but this one slipped out.KG and Terry were mugging all night. I saw one hard foul where the ref moved out of the way to avoid being hit too and no whistle. Over and done with, on with the next game. It wont help Boston, maybe prolong the series so NBA can make more money.

  26. Good Call says:

    I think the suspension was due to his history of trying to elbow people

  27. Lol I bet MWP is calling j.r a noob

  28. Phy says:

    There’s a pretty good angle on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or8qsOh0czM

  29. W/E says:

    Flop.Old man Terry going into flop mode.

  30. robin says:

    Agree, that was very clear intentional to hurt JT

  31. Guy says:

    And People forgot that Lebron shoved Terry so hard during the finals and D-wade tripping and pulling Rondo on to the floor.This is why Nba is such a failure.

  32. OctoPPus says:

    Terry should’ve CRACKED his head – Right away – with a CHAIR !!!!

    • Snook says:

      Just wait Heat fans when the Knicks come to towm. How many times did you beat us? How about when Stat comes back too. Please! Lebron is such a cry baby. I see him cry everytime he’s fouled. No one can touch the NBA golden boy. Womder why Mellow sells more Jersey’s? Who are all those people dressed in blue at the Heat games…LMAO

  33. Brady says:

    Celtics won’t get sweeped i predict they’ll go to 6

    • ee says:

      lol u think ur winning in ny game 5 then losin game 6 in boston u fool watch basketball learn basketball then comment

  34. Clean Sweep Anyway says:

    We will definitely miss JR in the sweep that is about to take place on Sunday, but we’ve got more guys that will suit up and step up (Copeland’s moment to shine). If Terry hadn’t been so close, i would’ve called that a flop, but that to being INTENTIONAL when we already had the game in our pockets, i don’t care what Terry tells me or provokes me or teases me, we had the upper hand and Celtics would still have lost. Weak call, but convenient to the Celtics. Still, CLEAN SWEEP ANYWAYYY!!

  35. Shawn says:

    He seemed upset to me, justifiably after the hard swipe he took from Terry… and it seemed he really didnt have any space to move. he just turned and hit him. Terry was right on his skin, and put his face in a place he wasnt smart to be in. okay foul but suspension was too much in my opinion, but it is what it is. Woodsen takes a team approach and the Knicks can take the next game, but i would never underestimate Pierce, who is still one of the greats in the game.

  36. Big Al says:

    An elbow to Terry’s face is probably every player’s wet dream. JR’s guilt was a giveaway though when he immediately walked away. The ejection is justified, but the suspension may have been from a cheque out of Danny Ainge’s bank account.

  37. Simon says:

    JT has made a reaching foul

  38. 1thomasbutler says:

    Suspension is uncalled for, should have at most been an offensive foul. A no call would have been the right decision on the court considering Terry flopped also.

  39. Ozan says:

    Well, j.r. knows what he did, i think 1 game ban is little bit harsh but its ok.
    knicks can get a win without him too.
    they’re doing serious defence.
    By the way who’s this freakin’ new voice at highlights?
    its really annoying.
    i cant watch highlights of the games i missed because this man. NEEDS TO CHANGE QUİCKLY!

  40. By the way, remember Rondo’s barely a push scuffle back in november w/ the nets humphries-yeah that one-a 2 game suspension for far less-things that make one say-hmmm??? about the league.

  41. I’m a die hard Celts fan & i’ll be non-biased about it as you ny fans don’t know how to be-for one the suspension on top of ejection was warranted,in fact a 2 or 3 game suspension would have been more fitting. jr’s act was no different than swinging a full punch so let’s be real about it. You all have to admit that his sole intent was to clock Terry in the head w/ his elbow while Terry was standing still. Some of you want to say Terry was to close-yeah ok-what’s he supposed to do, stand 3 ft away & let him shoot-lol-right. Then this article go’s on to quote jr basically making an excuse, “I was trying to draw the foul,” Smith said after the game. “He reached in one time. I thought he was going to reach in a second time and I was going to try to get a quick shot off, but they made a call that the refs saw and there’s not really much I can do about it.”-LMAO-“they made a call that the refs saw…not much i can do about that” & “i was going to try to get a quick shot off”-now that excuse is real F!!??! hilarious-who in the world history of bball shoots jabbing their elbow 2-3 feet in front of them where Terry was standing while shooting. jr be a man & at least admit it in a fashionable way if you don’t want to come right out, something like, “in the heat of the game lost my emotions”-be real! Then to be a punk B!!?? & run to your bench right after to avoid squaring up (aka prev tips from melo when in denver-swing & run)lmao! Everybody knows if it was the Celts that did that ny would be screaming for a 2 week suspension & that’s probably what the league would do as they have not been fair & impartial to the Celtics for a while-years! If a Celtic did that i’d have no prob saying @ the least 2 game suspension-you ny’s are just saying only game ejection because you all like that jr did that-i personally don’t like to see any player who’s not provoked, as Terry obviously didn’t, under those circumstances whether injury or not-what if it was more serious like hitting him in the eye-then def suspend till well into next season. Yeah it’s a contact sport & i luv banging myself but it’s not boxing! Anyway………

    • Snook says:

      LOL….Yeah. Garnet is such a clean player now that he’s just another player. What a joke, Its ok for others to hit Terry though. Celtics are done in NY.

  42. Aww J.T says:

    J.T down twice, first at LeBron’s dunk, second at J.R’s elbow, no love from NBA hahaha

  43. Lover of the game/ Knick fan since Ewing says:

    terrys a bum and a actor. he said this season all da celtics needed was jet fuel. lol now i guess he burned out so he acted and got jr suspended goood job guess dats wat da great shyt talkin bully celtics have come down t. lolz ur stiill gonna lose this game. big game from coopland, and kid. bet da house

  44. Patrickmarc says:

    perhaps not a malicious elbow but he should have said something to Terry just a second after, and said he was sorry.
    He didn’t apologize.

  45. Bryan says:

    IMO, Just more evidence that Stern runs the show. . .

    One ref can be dirty for one game only, Tim couldn’t be dirty for years with no one else involved. Straight facts.

  46. KG says:

    In my eyes it’s a clear foul and it was intentionally, but as i saw it Live, i thought “well deserved” Terry. How Terry hittet Smith before the elbow should be even called for a normal Foul. At the end, i think Smith got luck with just 1 Suspension.

    A Celtics Fan from Switzerland 🙂

  47. Bryan says:

    NBA = No Ballers Allowed

  48. what does it matter its 3-0

  49. Bryan says:


    Full on laying out like a little girl.. Slow that down and tell me he makes contact with his elbow more than JET makes trying for the steal.

    Flopping punk can eat an a$$hole after this play.

    And I used to like JET

  50. Josh says:

    oh come on. if you can’t take that kind of play go play tennis or other non-contact sport.

  51. NYK says:

    A foul can be called on JT before JR threw the elbow.

  52. xbox says:

    Elbow to the head warrants a flagrant 2, however, suspension was not necessary. Not like he tried to dent the JET’s head in; it might have even been a flop considering how slowly but surely terry was falling.

  53. TraceMe says:

    is he the metta world peace of knicks?

  54. Why did the ref not call the foul immediately on Terry for the clear hard contact reaching in for the ball foul on JR. The Ref was sitting right on top of the play but blew nada. It should be a fine on the ref for contributing to the drama.
    Holla if you agree.

  55. Bow to the head says:

    Replay shows the elbow hitting Terry in the chest. If he got hit in the head I don’t think he would be getting up that fast to shove past to go after him.

  56. Merv says:

    Early in the game Paul Pierce elbow iman Shumpert way harder and was not even call for a foul…I rewind it because I have a DVR, It show that Pierce elbow Iman straight in the chin and his head shap backward really hard. He was hurt..,That why he was so wide open when garnet block the shot like he did something than start yelling somthing at iman.If Iman wasn’t hurt on that play before that, He would of DUNK on Garnet!!!

  57. LatinLegacy says:

    The suspension was not necessary but the New York Knicks will be fine for one game without him. Either way, this series is over so doesn’t matter what happens in game 4. The Boston Celtics don’t have a team that is capable of pulling out 4 wins in a roll against a very hungry Knicks team. Copeland will most likely get the start & if he has a decent game, he’ll drop 15+ points. If Novak catches fire, the series is over at game 4. He’ll be getting more minutes in game 4 so he’ll have a good chance at getting some shots off. The Boston faithful will just have to hope that he doesn’t hit on most of them.

  58. ThunderRocketsFan says:

    That deserved a flagrant IMO. I’m not sure about a suspension. Without Smith, Celtics might be able to win the next game but I think the Knicks will take this series. I like the Celtics more though.

  59. ThunderUP says:

    He missed if anything he caught im with his foreman and terry flopped hard if jr smith swung his elbow that fast and connected wimpy terry would be still on the court when game 4 starts. The reaction time of terry was like watcing those old chinese movies where the mouth moves before the word come out.

  60. wii says:

    its ok lah
    boston old man trying play basket,they should sit nice at home

  61. WOW says:

    How does one get hit by a swinging elbow and fall straight backward? Newton got a fourth law?

    • Samuel says:

      Yeah, I’ve been saying they should have a physicist review this. Not to mention the trauma one would sustain by an elbow swung with such force.

  62. Knick_Of_Time says:

    They said Kidd and Novak should get time…. However I see Copeland getting more minutes.

  63. igor says:

    i dont know did u see the whole game but first kj push him in the ground the terry try to provocate

  64. joe says:

    if they had called the 3 second violation on KG, this would not have happened!!!

  65. DTB says:

    Everyone acting like he shouldn’t be suspended would be screaming for a suspension if LeBron did that

  66. MJfromOKC says:

    This was a ridiculous play however I feel a flagrant two with no suspension would have been sufficient.

  67. Samuel says:

    Sorry for being a Knick fan, but those of you saying two game suspension must either really hate the Knicks and/or JR, or die-hard Celtic fans. It was clearly a flop.

    If you guys look closely, his neck didn’t snap back. His head didn’t turn. I’m sure JT’s head isn’t made of hard metal. And if it was, JR’s elbow would’ve been done. But forget that. If only they had other camera angles instead of the two from behind JT.

  68. Niji says:

    Smith knew what he was doing and Terry played the foul well. In my opinion, the fact that Smith walked away as Terry was coming after, led me to believe that Smith was satisfied with the blow. As for the suspension. I disagree with it. This is NBA play-offs. Also, Terry knew he was going to get popped guarding Smith like that. Both players did their jobs well.

  69. Stardom says:

    Suspension was not necessary ejection was right.

  70. stay gold says:

    Terry flopped. You can see it. Look how far he fell back. He reached in once and smith knew he would again and made the right aggressive play. You got to be quick to draw contact and once he did Terry flopped. Ridiculous suspension. Knicks will still sweep though.

  71. Justin says:

    WELL DESERVED!!!! but indeed not enough!! Should’ve given him 2 games suspension!!

  72. mee(a)t says:

    Intentionally… Kinda harsh word to describe what happened

  73. j.r. smith's elbow says:

    I don’t understand why with the suspension, you could just fine smith, its not my fault if terry’s face is so near to me…it is bound to happen if you defend like that…..

  74. Hyrum says:

    After watching this clip many times I can determine very clearly that the Boston player flopped. Weak dude!

  75. Deejay says:

    This is so weak! Obvious he was making the move, Terry was just too close like usual. Knicks will be fine, if we need 3’s we have many outlets. Plus it’s a chance for Cope to step up and prove his worth in the series. I’m still going with a clean sweep victory

  76. ddtt says:

    @Blake if you honestly believe what you wrote you have something wrong with you….pretty obvious JR knew exactly what he was doing in that situaton

  77. heats305 says:

    throws a elbow.. walks away like a boss

  78. well says:

    I think this has to do with his reputation in the past. Metta World Peace probably would have been suspended for weeks for that, while Dwayne Wade would not have been called for anything.

    • Mike says:

      I know people like to complain about Miami, but Wade ‘was’ suspended for a game in the regular season after he showed off long-developed new groin-kick move. Maybe they get easy calls sometime, but when a ref sees an obvious foul they’ll call it.

  79. Blake says:

    Disagree with this. He was trying to create space/Draw a foul. Not a malicious elbow. Posts catch elbows like this several times a game when the offensive player makes a post move, but the defender doesn’t have a chance to react like terry did because it would mean a no call and 2 points.

    Weak weak weak.

    • jet says:

      if you want to create some space, you go for the arms like kobe and durant does. not to the defenders face. his intention is not to create some space but to hurt someone. he should be given 2 games suspension imho.

    • FOFO says:

      He swung his elbow and no where near any shooting form. However, it seems Terry can act as well.

    • Fred says:

      This was clearly malicious, you obviously didn’t see the replay during the game JR’s eyes had the intent to elbow JT in the face. If he wanted to clear space he could of just ripped the ball through low not swing his elbow right into his have.

  80. Yup says:

    A well deserved suspension. They should’ve given him a two game suspension to make up for the lack of one when he injured Dragic earlier this season.

  81. CHUCK NORRIS says: