MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra has the chance to win a round of the NBA playoffs or take a hit in the pocketbook, chances are good he’s OK with writing a check. He’ll have to, after the league fines him $25 thousand Friday following comments he made blasting the hard fouls given two heat players before Thursday night’s playoff game against the Pacers, a game the Heat won.
Stu Jackson, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations announced Friday that Spoelstra has been fined $25,000, “for critical public comments about how the Miami/Indiana playoff series was being officiated.”READ MORE: Miami Gardens Opens New Walk-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Site
The league did not specifically say they fined Spoelstra for the comments about the fouls, but the timing makes it likely.
“The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys,” Coach Spoelstra said. “In nine games now, there’s been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don’t have a problem with so don’t have a problem with it. We’ll focus on what we can control.”
Haslem fouled Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough hard in Game 5 after Hansbrough had a flagrant foul against Miami’s Dwyane Wade. While Haslem’s flagrant foul was upped and he was suspended, Hansbrough will be allowed to play in pivotal Game 6 Thursday night.READ MORE: South Florida Bride, Groom Crashers At Own Fort Lauderdale Mansion Wedding
“I mean, Hansbrough, it’s not the first time he’s gone after one of our players this year,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “We have two guys suspended and basically they have no one suspended.”
Pacers president Larry Bird seemed to indicate the Pacers would play even harder and more physical when he said after Game 5 the team was soft. Still, LeBron and Wade have said that attempts to get into their heads with hard or flagrant fouls aren’t working.
Still, as ESPN.com reported, the NBA has assigned a veteran crew of referees to Game 6 and all of them have reputations for being more than willing to throw a player out of a game in a heartbeat.
While Spoelstra’s words may cost him a bit, it could be part of his plan to try and finally get the officials on the Heat’s side. The Heat will need a lot of help because even though Haslem and Pittman are out, they can’t dress extra players to fill those spots; so two players will be inactive in Game 6 and two spots will be open.MORE NEWS: Pivoting In Pandemic: Miami Maintenance Co. Credits FIU's Small Business Development Center For Helping Them Survive
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