Memphis coach Fizdale blasts 'unprofessional' officiating

Lynette Rowe
April 20, 2017

But that's not the statistic that seemed to bother Memphis coach David Fizdale.

The Memphis Grizzlies coach had a bone to pick Monday night after his club lost 96-82 to the San Antonio Spurs to fall into a 2-0 hole in their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series.

In Game 1, San Antonio looked as if it might be in trouble - for 10 minutes. Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, had zero free throws, but somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws.

The first-year head coach noted that Leonard took more free throws (19) than all his Grizzlies (15) despite Memphis attempting 17 more shots in the paint than San Antonio. And they did not even give us a chance. That's unacceptable. That was unprofessional.

Game 2 did not end so well for Memphis to say the least.

The Cleveland Cavaliers now have a 2-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 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. It's money he can afford to pay, especially if it means getting Conley and Zach Randolph to the line in Game 3. The Spurs didn't so much blitz the Grizzlies in Game 2 as they did grind them down, cut off their supply lines and await a cold, long winter.

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The Grizzlies gained confidence by Fizdale's rant, as well as erasing a 26-point deficit on the road, making it a competitive game until late in the fourth quarter.

"I think he's just trying to motivate his team, stand up for his team. They shot 11 times in the paint and shot 23 free throws".

If you know anything about the Spurs, you know they're battle tested.

"I assume that a guy that has been 20-plus years successful and has the status of coach Pop, and I'm a guy who just comes into the league and gets a head coaching job, I might not get the same treatment", Gasol said. "But Kawhi is going to be aggressive and LaMarcus [Aldridge] is going to be aggressive, and if they double-team, they're going to have to choose between me or Danny [Green] or whoever is going to be open".

"But, again, I'm not going to emphasize it". I'm going to try to coach my team the best I can, or try to play the best as I can as a player.

To help his case, tensions were high after the Grizzlies loss.

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