Money well spent: Doc fined $25K for calling KG's game 2 fouls "horrendous"

Al Bello

Garnett's absence certainly had an effect on the game, but could Doc's words affect the officiating going forward?

In Game 2's post-game conference, Doc said that "the fouls on Kevin were horrendous and had a huge effect on us." I won't argue semantics, but that isn't necessarily a knock on the refs. Nonetheless, Doc's a little lighter in the wallet this afternoon.

For what it's worth, I looked into some numbers after coaches were fined for criticizing playoff officials to see if it had any bearing on the next game. In recent memory, I remember Doc making comments after Game 1 of the 2010 Finals and Phil doing his zen voodoo with the media after Game 2. I don't think either coach was financially reprimanded, but their comments certainly had an affect on the floor.

Two years ago, Nate McMillan was fined a similar amount to Doc's after a Game 1 loss to the Mavericks. After out fouling Dallas 26 to 16, Game 2 saw a more even distribution of 22-20. In 2009, the NBA handed out three fines to Rick Adelman, Nate McMillan, and Doc Rivers. Adelman and McMillan were facing each other in the first round and in both instances, their public tirades shifted the foul disparity from 27-18 in Houston's favor to 24-12 in Portland's. Doc made a stink after a Game 4, double overtime loss to the Bulls in that epic series against Chicago where the C's were whistled for 31 personal fouls. A game after his fine, the Celtics won in OT behind Paul Pierce and more importantly, committed only 20 PF's.

Could Doc's fine lead the Celtics to even the series in Boston with a little home court cooking and friendly whistle? Recent history says yes. The officiating assignment hasn't been announced, but according to NBAstuffer.com, refs David Jones, Derrick Stafford, Rodney Mott, Ron Garretson, and Tony Brothers have been more apt to ref a game in the home team's favor in the playoffs. The team of Jones/Mott/Stafford officiated Game 2 of the series so odds are, they won't draw Doc's ire over the weekend, but that also means they won't be there to blow a hometown whistle.

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