By the time Rick Carlisle had his post-practice conversation with the media Saturday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks coach already knew his wallet was a little lighter.
The NBA fined Carlisle $25,000 for his public criticism of the officiating crew that refereed Friday’s Game 3 of the series between the Mavericks and Houston Rockets. Carlisle took exception with many of the calls by the officials, made some critical comments after the game and suffered the (financial) consequences less than 24 hours later.
“I accept the fine,” Carlisle said. “I have strong feelings about how I feel about my team, and I’m going to fight for my team, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
Carlisle felt Friday’s game got too physical and that the Mavericks, who are not a physical team, got pushed around too much. After the game, Carlisle said: “We’re scrambling like hell defensively, and Devin Harris is going to get the ball, and Dwight Howard throws him into our bench, he takes the ball, skips it over the top and [Trevor] Ariza gets a wide-open three,” Carlisle said. “That stuff’s got to stop.
“The officials [have] got to get that stuff under control, because there’s too much physical stuff going on. Howard is throwing people all over the place, and that can’t happen in Game 4.”
Asked if the referees gave him an explanation on the play, Carlisle said: “I didn’t get one. But look, referees miss calls. But there’s just a lot of physical stuff going on out there that just doesn’t look kosher to me. They’re a more physical team, but this series has got to be played within the rules.”
The NBA didn’t care for how Carlisle aired his concerns, hence the fine.
“I’m a lot like my owner,” Carlisle said. “I’m going to fight for my guys. I understand the fine, I accept it, and again I think they’ll put the money to very good use.”
Center Tyson Chandler acknowledges that the Rockets have brought their physical style of play to a new level in this series. He added that the Mavericks themselves simply have to turn the physical meter up a notch or two.
“You get out there and play hard and give it 100 percent,’ Chandler said. “You try to match everything if not more, and the games are what they are. Of course, you want to retaliate, but it’s not smart. I know I can’t. If I’m off the court, we’re really in trouble.”
Carlisle will know more Sunday about injuries to guard Raymond Felton and forward Richard Jefferson. Both players sustained the injuries Friday in Game 3 of this best-of-seven series against Houston.
Felton started in place of the injured Rajon Rondo (back) and was limited to just 13 minutes after pulling his right hamstring. Jefferson started in place of the injured Chandler Parsons (knee) and didn’t play but 12 minutes after pulling his right calf.
“I believe that Felton is probably going to be able to play,” Carlisle said. “Jefferson’s getting a lot of treatment, and we’ll see where he’s at [Sunday].”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760