David Fizdale Grizzlies

The Grizzlies fell short in their comeback attempt against the Spurs in Game 2, and Memphis coach Dave Fizdale thinks the refs might have something to do with that.

After the game, Fizdale went on a minute-long rant to the media about the officials not giving the Grizzlies enough respect, pointing to the Spurs’ plus-17 free throw differential in a 14-point victory.

“That was a very poorly officiated basketball game. Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, had zero free throws, and somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws. First half, we shot 19 points — 19 shots in the paint, and we had six free throws. They shot 11 times in the paint and they had 23 free throws. I’m not a numbers guy, but that doesn’t seem to add up. Overall, 35 times we shot the ball in the paint. We had 15 free throws for the game. They shot 18 times in the paint and had 32 free throws. Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team.

“Explain it to me. We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve ’cause Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy, he has class and he just plays the game. But I’m not gonna let them treat us this way. I know Pop’s got pedigree and I’m a young rookie. But they’re not gonna rook us. That’s unacceptable. That was unprofessional. Our guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game and they did not even give us a chance.

“Take that for data!

An instant classic NBA moment.

Fizdale’s numbers are correct, and there were some questionable calls that generally favored San Antonio in Game 2. However, his argument about Conley loses some steam considering he’s contrasting him with Leonard, another player known keeping his class and calm on the court.

Regardless, Fizdale made some great points.

Suddenly, Thursday’s Game 3 got a lot more interesting.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.

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