On Sunday, Thunder coach Scott Brooks responded to Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle's repeated complaints of how Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki is victimized by physical play from opponents and poor officiating.
“Just go back to your quotes in 2011. He said the same thing then,” Brooks said of last year's playoff series against OKC.
On Monday, Brooks' former Albany Patroons roommate answered back and insists he is not posturing for more calls from game officials.
“Look, if there's been a memo issued saying that if you elbow a guy in the throat it's legal, I would appreciate that memo being passed along,” Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News after his team's Monday shootaround at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“I sincerely mean this: If one of our guys elbows (Kevin) Durant or (Russell) Westbrook or Reggie Jackson or Cole Aldrich in the neck, that's a foul. It just happened to be a play that was missed.
“When I was asked about that, I was asked my opinion and I made two statements of fact. It was not about posturing or positioning. They were two statements of fact. You're talking about a guy that's been very difficult to officiate because of his unusual skill set and he gets played very physically and we've seen it for four years. That's a fact. That's not an attempt to lobby the league. That's a fact of life that we've had to deal with and Dirk does a great job with it.
“But, hey, it's physical. We don't expect it not to be. And we're going to have to be a little more physical tonight. That's a part of the game we feel we can pick up a little bit.”
The Thunder and Mavericks meet in Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. at The Peake.
Nowitzki agreed that the Mavs to be more physical against OKC.
“I thought down the stretch we fouled, but we didn't foul very smart,” Nowitzki said. “We gave up two and-ones in the last two minutes. That's obviously not playoff basketball. So we've got to wrap those guys up and make them earn it at the line. That's what the playoffs is all about, both teams competing at the highest level and making hard, physical plays.”