Monday, April 18, 2011
Blazers' Nate McMillan fined $35,000
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS -- Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan was fined $35,000 for public comments on the officiating after Saturday's Game 1 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA announced Monday.
During his postgame press conference, McMillan questioned why there was such a large free throw disparity in Dallas' favor. The Mavericks shot 29 free throws, compared to 13 for the Trail Blazers. Dallas had a 19-2 edge in free throws during the fourth quarter, when Dirk Nowitzki was 13-of-13 from the line.
"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; 19 to two in the fourth quarter. And I felt like we were attacking, and guys really didn't know how to play with the fouls that were being called. A lot of touch fouls. I thought that took the momentum away and pretty much gave them control in the game."
McMillan pointed out that Portland shot far fewer free throws despite having a major advantage in points in the paint (46-18).
"There were no calls in some situations," McMillan said. "But I thought we were being aggressive."
McMillan did not back away from his critical comments the next day, when he acknowledged that he wouldn't be surprised to get fined.
"I'm not hoping to get fined," McMillan said, flashing a brief grin. "You know, I don't even want to discuss it.
"I said what I said. We have to make adjustments to the situation and the officiating, but our guys have to continue to be aggressive and keep a calm head. I thought we got out of character because of not getting calls."
McMillan indicated that he didn't have a problem with the fouls that were called against the Trail Blazers, saying Portland "didn't play smartly" after the Mavericks got into the penalty. His frustration was due to the fact that Portland's aggressiveness on offense wasn't rewarded with trips to the free throw line.
"We'll continue to do what we were doing, continue to be aggressive and attack the basket," McMillan said Sunday. "That's the game plan for us and for Dallas. They were rewarded with getting to the free throw line. Hopefully on Tuesday, we'll get there."
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle scoffed at the suggestion that McMillan's comments could affect the officiating for the rest of the series.
"You're asking me if I think the coach's comments are going to influence the officials?" Carlisle said. "I believe the officials are going to make every effort to make the calls that are there. I said it the other day, our officials are the best officials in sports and they have the toughest job. Our job is to make sure we're as aggressive as possible and that we play our game as well as we can.
"If you want to get in a debate about officiating, there's plenty of calls that could have gone the other way as well."
Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.