Doc Rivers, break out your checkbook, you have a fine to write to the league.
The Clippers lost to the Rockets 101-96 in Houston Tuesday night. The Clippers actually did a good job on the Rockets defensively, they lost the game in two other categories: 1) Houston grabbed the offensive rebound on 32 percent of their missed shots (that jumps to almost 36 percent if you remove some of the garbage rebound/shots stats at the end of halves); 2) Houston got to the free throw line 23 times to Los Angeles’ eight — just 4.2 percent of L.A.’s shots ended in a foul.
Doc Rivers was fired up about the second part of that after the game and earned himself a fine talking about the officials, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
“I don’t say much about officiating,” Rivers said to preface his complaints. “They shot 41 3s, we shot 18. We doubled them in the amount of points in the paint. And it was 24-8 in free throws. That’s a joke. That’s a complete joke.”
“I thought our guys drove and got hit all game,” Rivers said. “Lou [Williams] down the stretch got killed on a play and no call. Austin [Rivers] gets hit and no call. DJ [DeAndre Jordan] gets fouled over the back.
“I haven’t [complained about officiating] all year. Our guys played their hearts out. But for them to shoot that many more free throws than us, and we’re the team attacking, it just doesn’t make basketball sense to me. It is what it is, and we have to move on.”
That was obviously going to draw a fine, and it did — $15,000, the league announced Friday afternoon.
What Rivers was really doing was laying the groundwork for future games. The Clippers are just two games into a stretch of 8-of-10 on the road that likely determines if they make the postseason (they are currently the nine seed, one game out of the dance). Los Angeles’ next games are Oklahoma City, Portland, Minnesota — all teams also fighting to get into the West playoffs. The Clippers could use a couple of breaks in those games, so Rivers lobbied for one. The price was $15,000