Knicks' J.R. Smith fined for flop during playoffs
Smith becomes the third player fined under the league's stiffer postseason policy, which eliminated the free warning given during the regular season and assesses escalating fines for each subsequent offense. During the regular season, 19 players were warned for flopping and five of those received fines for a second offense. Pacers forward Jeff Pendergraph and Thunder guard Derek Fisher have also been fined during the postseason.
With a little more than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Pacers leading 97-86, Lance Stephenson brought the ball up the court for Indiana, using a screen from David West just after he passed halfcourt. As Smith fought over the top of the pick, he received a minimal bump to his left side but reacted by flailing his arms and head and falling to the floor, simulating a greater degree of contact. West was whistled for an offensive foul on the play.
RELATED: Check out The Point Forward's rundown of the best flops of the 2012-13 season.
This type of flop was specifically noted in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari was called out for trying to sell an offensive foul in a similar manner.
"While defending against a legal ball screen, the defensive player, No. 8 in the white uniform, absorbs solid contact from the screener," the video's narrator explained. "However, the reaction by No. 8 which includes a flail, a spin, a fall to the floor and an apparent display of injury was a gross over-embellishment and was inconsistent with the degree of contact received on the play."
The fine is the second time Smith has run afoul of the league office during the 2013 playoffs. During New York's first-round playoff series with Boston, Smith was ejected for delivering a flagrant elbow to Jason Terry and later suspended for one game without pay.
Smith will now be subject to the postseason fine scale for flopping.
Violation 1: $5,000 fine
Violation 2: $10,000 fine
Violation 3: $15,000 fine
Violation 4: $30,000 fine
If a player violates the anti-flopping rule five times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Smith, 27, averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Knicks this season and was named 2013 Sixth Man of the Year.
New York, the East's No. 2 seed, and Indiana, the East's No. 3 seed, are tied at one game apiece in their conference semifinals series. Game 3 is set for Saturday in Indiana. Video via YouTube user frank den