The Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to a 117-104 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and guard J.R. Smith expects the Boston Celtics to bring a physical and potentially "dirty" style to Friday's Game 2.
"For them to come out swinging, playing scrappy like they do," Smith said when asked how he thinks Boston will respond in the next contest, per Jordan Heck of Omnisport (h/t Sporting News). "So we just got to expect that and understand there might be some dirty plays, might be some cheap shots coming from the other side just because they are fighting for their lives at this point."
Fox Sports Ohio shared more of Smith's comments on its YouTube page:
Heck noted Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson picked up a double-foul when they went "chest-to-chest while barking at one another" in Game 1. Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas also jawed with each other, although the Cavaliers guard had a classic response in the blowout:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Kyrie hit IT with a classic: "Scoreboard" 😂 https://t.co/Wna1MtOtI75/18/2017, 1:31:54 PM
Heck also pointed to the history between the Cavaliers and Kelly Olynyk since the Celtics big man injured Kevin Love by pulling his shoulder during the 2015 postseason.
The Cavaliers haven't lost a game in the playoffs and can ill afford a suspension to interrupt their incredible roll. Smith's comments indicate they are prepared for Boston to potentially skirt the line of legal play, and the preparation should help them avoid a situation like the one involving Oubre in the last round.