The NBA announced on Sunday that Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has been fined $25,000 for his comments about the officiating in game three of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cavs guard Dahntay Jones was also been suspended for game four after his low blow on Raptors center Bismack Biyombo.
Casey cut a frustrated figure following the Raptors' 99-84 game three win. Despite the important W that keeps the Candian franchise's hopes alive, the Raptors have been called for 73 personal fouls so far during their series with the Cavaliers, while their opponents have only been called for 46.
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Originally, the 59-year-old coach went on a long tirade that insisted Biyombo - who has done a stellar job at the pivot since Toronto lost starting center Jonas Valanciunas to injury - wasn't getting the calls around the rim that he should. He speculated that it might come down to how strong and physical the 23-year-old is, but concluded his insight by stating:
"Again, I'm going to say this: I think he gets hit almost on every rebound and putback there is, and he just doesn't get the calls, whether he's rolling to the bucket, and we've just got to have consistency with that."
A day later, Casey appeared unapologetic with his comments but whilst he maintained his position, he was keen to ensure his thoughts weren't taken for anything more than what they were.
"I'm not trying to get anybody - it's over with," Casey said Sunday when asked about the officiating. "I said what I had to say last night. I'm not trying to send a message. It was a comment about the game last night, and it's over with."
Biyombo - who amassed a staggering 26 rebounds during the game three contest - was left writhing in pain after Jones struck him in the groin with 17.6 seconds remaining. The blow was so bad that the Congolese big man remained downed in agony after the final buzzer.
"I got hit in an area that I wasn't supposed to get hit on, or a private area, so to speak," Biyombo said after game three. "Whenever the league has a chance, they probably want to take a look at that. That's all I can say on that one."
The NBA has made these calls at a time where the officiating in the playoffs has, arguably, never been more under the microscope. LeBron James only complained last week about the lack of flagrant fouls he receives, and last night, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors appeared to give Steve Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder straight punt to the nether regions.
If Jones has picked up a one-match ban for his incident with Biyombo, one would imagine a precedent has been set for Green. The Dubs forward should expect at least a one-game ban, but given the arguable sinister intentions that accompany the clash, it could be much more.
Either way, the pressure on the officials during these Finals appears relentless, and both series' are far from done.