Members of the Thunder and Mavericks said Tuesday they are not concerned that the physicality of their playoff series will continue to escalate.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki were each assessed a technical after a brief shoving incident in the first quarter of OKC's 102-99 victory Monday night in Game 2, which featured 71 free throws and 54 fouls.
“It's stuff that happens, but I don't think anybody really takes it too seriously,” Thunder forward Nick Collison said. “It's just kind of on the outside (with fans). We've all seen NBA games. It seems like it happens once a game, even in the regular season. It's not really a big deal. We don't give it much of a thought.
“I think it is important that we try to control emotions so that something doesn't happen like what happened with (Boston's Rajon) Rondo (who bumped an official and received a one-game suspension), where you miss a game. Those things happen, where guys are really emotional. So it is important to try to avoid something that's really going to affect the series. But overall, I think most of that stuff is under control and it's not too big of an issue.”
Two possessions before the Perkins-Nowitzki incident, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka inadvertently scraped the face of Nowitzki after trying to block his shot. No foul was called, and Nowitzki gave Ibaka a forearm shiver running down court on the ensuing possession.
Asked if Perkins and Ibaka crossed the line, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said: “There are things that are happening out there that can't happen. You can't hit a guy in the face when he shoots a jump shot. Intentional or not intentional, that happened, and that was one of the things that set things in motion there.
“It's playoff basketball. There's going to be chippiness. There's going to be contact. There's going to be hits. We just got to make sure our disposition is where it needs to be. On the other hand, our poise and composure have to be very strong.”
How much more physical could play get from Game 2?
“I'm not sure about that, but it's going to be physical,” Carlisle said. “That's how playoff series get. Generally, they get more physical before they get less physical. That's OK. We've got to have the right kind of disposition. We've got to have the right kind of restraint, composure and poise. We've got to put the ball in the basket, and we've got to do a better job of stopping them.”