The Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks have perhaps the most intriguing first round match-up in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. It’s the up-and-coming favorites against the defending champs. It’s old versus new and a clash of superstars with incredible experience against those forging the beginnings of all-time greatness right now. Given the recent history between the two, it’s also a bit of a soap opera.
The latest chapter comes from Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, who called out the officiating in the first game. The Thunder won by one point, but Carlisle made sure to point out the consistent fouls he believed were committed against Dirk Nowitzki. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks responded with a yawn.
“Might as well just go back to your quotes in 2011, he said the same thing,” Brooks said Sunday, referring to last season’s Western Conference finals series.
“They average 20 free throws a game and they shot (25),” he continued. “We average 27, we shot 20. If you’re going to get into that I think you’re taking away what NBA basketball is about. You play your game, you do it as hard as you can and you live with the results. You guys can’t be sucked into that. That’s what he does.”
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins backed up his coach.
“I mean they average 20 free throws for the season and they shot (25) last night, so they shot (five) more free throws than us so it ain’t really nothing to complain about,” Perkins said. “We just tried to make him play in a crowd and be physical with him a little.”
The Mavs try to even the series tomorrow in game two.