"It's unfortunate that I've got a guy like [point guard] Mike Conley that in his whole career has got zero technical fouls and just can not seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves", Fizdale said after Memphis fell to a 2-0 series deficit. "We don't get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn't go insane, he has class and he just plays the game. But when it comes to the game, I'm not sure", Conley said when asked if he believed the officials respect him on the court. "Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, has zero free throws, but somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws?" Overall, we shot ball in the paint 35 times and had 15 free-throws - for the game. I know Pop's (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) got pedigree and I'm a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us.
That means Memphis spent the whole season sending their opponents to the line more than they got there, which makes Fizdale's complaint a bit harder to take at face value. While losing in back-to-back games on the road in San Antonio, Memphis will return home for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
It was an incredible moment and one that, predictably, earned him a hefty fine from the league.
"I think [that rant]'s going to push us over today", says Grizzlies fan Lawrence Benymoe. Tweet Embed: https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/854770962893504513 Fizdale: Coaches pull this card a lot. On the other hand, the Grizzlies were previously ousted by the Spurs in the first-round of last year's postseason while the series lasted just four games. Free throws were costly for the Grizzlies.More news: Key facts as Texas governor revives push for 'bathroom bill'
"We fought and brought it down and then they hit some shots and we had some iffy possessions", Conley said. "They shot 11 times in the paint and had 23 free-throws", he said.
"Obviously, I was pretty set on getting the point across", Fizdale said. A furious Fizdale complained that the officiating crew had unfairly skewed the free-throw count against his players.
It's unclear which outcome will come to fruition, but what we do know is that this will be the most competitive game of the series, and will test the characters of both teams. "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".