The Oklahoma City Thunder are a physical basketball team that likes to instigate contact. Do not think of guys like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook — or especially Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams — as finesse players.
Friday, the league gave Durant an after-the-fact technical foul for a “physical taunt” for this elbow thrown during Game 2.
During his media availability Friday, Rick Carlisle complained about the “non-basketball physical escalations” by the Thunder.
The Thunder want a physical game. That plays to their strengths. It does not play to Dallas’ wheelhouse, so you can understand Carlisle putting this out there trying to get a more tightly called game. And to plant a seed in the minds of the referees about what to look for. It’s playoff gamesmanship, and he’s playing it well.