Cousins took issue with Smart 'cheap shot' before throwing him, getting ejected
When DeMarcus Cousins sets a screen, opposing players don't really have the option to try to go through it. He's a behemoth and most players would just run into his chest and hit the floor shortly after. Go over, go under, go around, but do not go through.
Nobody made Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart aware of that, though he doesn't seem the type to have cared much anyway. Smart tried to plow his way through a Cousins screen on Wednesday, something Cousins took issue with.
Not letting go of Smart's hard push-through, Cousins had enough when Smart later delivered what Cousins considered a cheap shot on a deep box out. Cousins responded by throwing Smart to the ground, getting himself ejected from the game in the process.
Cousins admitted after the game that he erred in retaliating, but didn't back away from his feelings about the two Smart plays that got under his skin:
I did have an issue. It didn't start with the box out, it was the pick. He tried to run through my chest and then he came and I felt like he took a cheap shot on the box out, which resulted in what happened. Regardless, I got to make better decisions. The team depends on me every night and I just can't do things like that.
As far as Smart is concerned, it's all in the nature of the game. A no-nonsense player himself, Smart doesn't sound as if Cousins' rough play has intimidated him any:
To be honest, I'm not really worried about that. He knows that I'm not going to back down from it. I don't see why I got the tech though. I don't know, they didn't really tell me. It's all good. Like I said, I'm one of those guys that's not going to back down from anything. I'm going to let that be known.
Considering he tried to run through a player seven inches and 50 pounds bigger than him and then didn't back down from a tussle, Smart's message has probably been received.