— “It’s unfortunate that I’ve got a guy like Mike Conley, who in his whole career’s got zero technical fouls. And just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves. It was a very poorly officiated basketball game.”
Fizdale might have a point here:
— “First half we shot 19 shots in the paint and we had six free throws. They shot 11 times in the paint and had 23 free throws. Not a numbers guy, but that doesn’t seem to add up.”
— “We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve, because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy, he has class, and he just plays the game, but I’m not gonna let them treat us that way.”
— “I know Pop’s got pedigree, and I’m a young rookie, but they not gonna rook us! That’s unacceptable, that was unprofessional.”
— “Take that for data!”
And with that, Fizdale slammed his fist on the table and walked away. It was an excellent closing line on a rant that’s certain to draw a fine from the NBA. Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra, for instance, drew a $25,000 fine for criticizing the officials during the 2012 East semifinals against the Pacers, and that was a series Miami won. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers paid the same penalty in 2014, when said his team was “robbed” by the officials for not changing a call during a second-round loss to the Thunder.
Fizdale wasn’t alone. Zach Randolph, described by Fizdale in his remarks as “the most rugged guy in the game,” has yet to take a foul shot in the series. According to Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal, Randolph took a brief glance at the stat sheet after Monday’s game before crumpling it into a ball and throwing it to the ground.
“Honestly, I don’t understand it,” he said.