Coach blasts ‘un­pro­fes­sional’ of­fi­ci­at­ing

The Observer (Sarnia) - - SPORTS - RAUL DOMINGUEZ

SAN AN­TO­NIO — Mem­phis coach David Fiz­dale blasted the of­fi­ci­at­ing in Game 2 of the Griz­zlies’ first-round se­ries against the Spurs, deem­ing it “un­pro­fes­sional” and “un­ac­cept­able” be­fore slam­ming his fist on a ta­ble and storm­ing off.

San An­to­nio held off a late rally to beat Mem­phis 96-82 on Mon­day night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round matchup.

Fiz­dale said the vet­eran crew of Danny Craw­ford, Rod­ney Mott and Bill Spooner “did not even give us a chance” to even the se­ries. Af­ter ini­tially say­ing he needed to “have a glass of wine on the plane” to an­a­lyze what hap­pened, Fiz­dale un­leashed a nearly two-minute tirade dur­ing a postgame in­ter­view that grew in­creas­ingly louder.

“It was a very poorly of­fi­ci­ated bas­ket­ball game,” Fiz­dale said. “Zach Ran­dolph, the most rugged guy in the game, has zero free throws, but some­how Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws?”

Leonard had a post-sea­son ca­reer­high 37 points and made all 19 freethrow at­tempts. The Griz­zlies took 15 free throws as a team against San An­to­nio’s 32 even though Mem­phis at­tempted 35 shots in the paint, 17 more than the Spurs.

“I’m not a numbers guy, but that doesn’t seem to add up,” Fiz­dale said.

Adding to Fiz­dale’s con­ster­na­tion was the fact that Mem­phis ral­lied from a 26-point deficit in the sec­ond half and had an op­por­tu­nity to win af­ter a 29-point blowout in Game 1.

The Griz­zlies closed within 75-71 early in the fourth quar­ter, but San An­to­nio re­sponded with 3-point­ers by Tony Parker and Pau Ga­sol in re­build­ing their dou­ble-digit lead.

Leonard shot all four of the Spurs free throws in the fi­nal quar­ter while the Griz­zlies were lim­ited to one on a three-point play by Marc Ga­sol.

“I felt like I got fouled the times that I went to the line,” Leonard said. “Mem­phis is a phys­i­cal team throw­ing a lot of bod­ies at me. I guess I did some­thing and the refs were pay­ing at­ten­tion and I was able to get to the line.”

The trio of Craw­ford, Spooner and Mott have of­fi­ci­ated more than 400 play­off games over ca­reers that span more than two decades for each, but Fiz­dale was irate with their per­for­mance.

Fiz­dale wasn’t sure if his sta­tus as a first-year coach or his team’s deco­rum had any­thing to do with the lop­sided numbers, but he wasn’t happy with the re­sult.

“Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team, ex­plain it to me,” Fiz­dale said. “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 go­ing to let them treat us that way. I know (San An­to­nio coach Gregg Popovich has) got pedi­gree and I’m a young rookie, but they are not go­ing to rook us.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.