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Marcus Smart on Joel Embiid incident: “I could’ve cracked his head open.”

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has spoken out on his opening night scuffle with Joel Embiid, claiming he ‘could’ve cracked his head open, but didn’t’.

Early in the third quarter, Embiid appeared to intentionally pull Smart’s arm after collecting a rebound which led to last season’s Defensive Player of the Year grabbing at Embiid’s leg.

The Cameroonian then flopped backwards to the ground, which prompted Jaylen Brown to step in with words exchanged as the pair were separated by teammates and coaching staff.

After the game which finished as a 126-117 Celtics victory, Smart got the chance to air his views on the matter in the postgame press conference.

“Went for the steal, basketball play, referee blows his whistle, calls a foul, I stop play, my arm’s still in there and he tries to break it..I’m the only one that gets a tech..defending DPOY? That’s how he gets treated? I could’ve cracked his head open, but I didn’t.”

Brown also spoke on the scuffle postgame, telling the media that ‘we’re not taking no mess this year’.

“He was getting away with a lot of unnecessary pushing and shoving. It seemed like he was trying to hurt Smart in a sense…we’re not taking no mess this year.”

The Celtics are Vegas favorites to win back-to-back Eastern Conference titles in NBA betting at a price of +275 ahead of the 2021 champions Milwaukee Bucks.