In the first three games against the Grizzlies, forward Nick Collison was whistled for 15 total fouls. He fouled out in 15 minutes in Game 2 and picked up five in 14 minutes in Game 3.
It's a trend that played a role in limiting Collison's minutes going into Game 4 on Monday night.
“I'm not too concerned with the fouls,” Collison said. “I want to try to avoid bad fouls. I think certain times when you're trying to make a play the officials will call fouls. So I guess the biggest thing is try to avoid the ones going for a loose ball and things that aren't really helping the team out. I'd love to not be in foul trouble, of course. But I'm not going to change too much on how I'm playing.”
GRIZZLIES COACH CALLS IT QUITS
Grizzlies assistant coach Barry Hecker left the team during the Western Conference semifinal against the Thunder for what Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said is a “personal matter.”
Hollins said after the team's shootaround Monday morning that Hecker's departure is “nothing that's public consumption.”
Hecker was with the Grizzlies for their Game 2 win in Oklahoma City but was not with the team in Memphis for their Game 3 win Saturday night. Team officials said only that Hecker is no longer with the Grizzlies.
Hecker had been on Hollins' staff in Memphis the past five seasons.
HOLLINS GIGS RANDOLPH
Hollins told star forward Zach Randolph, who is not known for his defense, that Randolph had made honorable mention on the NBA's all-defense team.
“I did?” Randolph enthusiastically responded, according to Hollins.
No, the coach said, “I'm just kidding.”
But three Grizzlies did make the squad. Tony Allen was first team; Marc Gasol and Mike Conley were second team.
“It says we're a good defensive team,” Hollins said.
Ironically, Gasol was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, an award voted on by media. Coaches vote for the all-defense team.
“I guess coaches see something different,” Hollins said.
POSSIBLE START TIMES FOR GAME 6 ANNOUNCED
Game 6 of the Thunder-Grizzlies series has been scheduled to be played either at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., the league announced Monday.
If the Chicago-Miami series extends to six games, the Thunder would play Game 6 at 6 p.m. on ESPN. If the Chicago-Miami series does not extend to six games, the Thunder would play Game 6 at 7 p.m.