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Suns’ coach Monty Williams fined by NBA for criticizing referees

In a week that saw others fined for the same thing, could it be that there was some truth in it or were they simply sore losers?

Paul Rudder
The NBA has fined Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams $15,000 for his public criticism of officials, after his team's loss in Game 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Following his public comments regarding the referees in the Suns last game - which they lost - the head coach was fined by the league.

Suns’ Monty Williams fined by the NBA

On Tuesday morning - as largely expected - the NBA announced that it would be sanctioning Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams to the tune of $15,000 fine for what the league referred to as “public criticism of the officiating.” In his ‘public criticism,’ Williams was of course referring to the free throw disparity between his team and the Pelicans, who they lost to in Game 4 by a score of 118-103 leaving the series tied at 2-2. On the night the Suns had 42 attempts from the free throw line compared to just 15 by the Suns. As if to further punctuate his view, the Pelicans were called for 16 personal fouls while the Suns almost doubled that with 28.

“You can slice it any way you want to. In a playoff game that physical, [the disparity] is amazing,” Williams said at the time. “Coaches shouldn’t have to come up to the microphone and feel like they’re going to get their heads cut off for speaking the truth.”

NBA Referees were under fire last week

Interestingly enough there were two other fines for similar reasons in the last round of playoff games. Memphis Grizzlies head coach — and fellow Coach of the Year finalist — Taylor Jenkins was fined the same $15,000 for making similar statements after their own game 4 loss that saw their series with the Minnesota Timberwolves draw level at 2-2 as well. Then there was also the case of 76ers star and MVP finalist Joel Embiid, who was also sanctioned - the same $15,000 - for sarcastically clapping at officials after his team’s loss before going on to criticize the officiating post game. You can read more about both cases here.

What next for the Monty Williams and the Phoenix Suns?

If there is one thing that the Suns didn’t expect as the No. 1 seed in the post season, it was that they would be tied at 2-2 heading for Game 5 with the No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans. Williams and his team most definitely have a battle on their hands, but with Chris Paul declaring that he will be better in the next game, expect the Suns to come hot. “We know Game 5 is going to be a dogfight and we’ve got to be ready to play,” Pelicans guard CJ McCollum said after Game 4, in which he posted 18 points to go with nine rebounds. “This is a championship-caliber team who’s been there before, but on the bright side, we understand what to expect. This is a great opportunity for us to learn, to grow and to play in a hostile environment.” The Suns will host the pelicans on Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m. ET


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