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Nate McMillan on his way to fine after venting about refs

Apr 17, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

Nate McMillan AP

In the fourth quarter Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks shot 19 free throws, the Portland Trail Blazers 2.

That was key to the Dallas win. After the game Blazers coach Nate McMillan sounded like a guy who wanted to avoid getting a fine for questioning the officiating, but he couldn’t help himself, as reported in the Oregonian.

“The free throws, I just don’t get that,” McMillan said. “It’s hard for our guys to know how to play out there when it’s called a little different. (The free throw difference was) 19-2 in the fourth quarter. And I felt like we were attacking and guys really didn’t know how to play with the fouls that we’re being called.”

“A lot of touch fouls and I thought that (gave them) momentum and pretty much gave them control of the game in the fourth quarter,” McMillan said. “This game was pretty much decided at the line in the fourth quarter.”

The free throw disparity was 29-13 for the game.

Part of why Dallas got those fourth quarter free throws however was Dirk Nowitzki was aggressive and drawing fouls — he’s good at that.

But this is just the first of a lot of coaches willing to pay the coming fine from the league to make a point — get it in the referees heads the numbers were unfair and try to gain your own advantage in the next game. The number of coaches that do this increases in the second round and beyond, but McMillian wanted to get an early start.

  1. yuckabuck - Apr 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    So, this year’s playoffs start right where last year’s left off. Game 7 of the 2010 Finals had three quarters of “let them play” followed by a fourth quarter of calling ticky tack fouls, leading to a free throw disparity benefiting one team. Last year it was the Laker’s getting the win, this year it is Dallas and Miami getting the calls.

  2. goforthanddie - Apr 17, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Portland does occasionally fall apart at game’s end, but they just got cornholed last night. Letting Kidd rain down 3s didn’t help much either :(

  3. zblott - Apr 17, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    The Mavericks, Heat, and Bulls (don’t forget them from day one) all benefited from outrageously one-sided foul calls, both from a visual “they’re getting hosed” perspective and a statistical standpoint. All three had a single player on the winning team “earning” as many or more free throws than the underdog, except for LeBron who only had 14 FT’s to Philly’s 15. When will the NBA stop rewarding superstars for running into and over defenders in the playoffs? It’s called a charge, and even the announcers are seeing them.

  4. datruth2100 - Apr 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Of all the garbage calls I’ve seen this past weekend. the over that pissed me off the most was dwayne wade kicking thaddeus young to get separation and the ref calling the foul on young

  5. zblott - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Refs affected three games in a big time way:

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/4/18/when-refs-take-over-2011-playoffs-game-one.html

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