Move over Blake Griffin.
You officially have company in the flopping department in the NBA.
Instead of being replaced by another player known for being a bit dramatic and over-selling foul calls to the refs, an entire team on the “stop the flop” campaign has essentially replaced Griffin.
On Thursday, Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel made a plea to the officials who will be calling the second-round series between the Pacers and the Miami Heat which starts on Sunday.
Vogel’s gripe: stop the flop already.
“They are the biggest flopping team in the NBA,” Vogel said.
“It’ll be very interesting to see how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward.”
Vogel isn’t really saying anything that the general public and NBA pundits haven’t said before when it comes to Miami, but you have to hand it to him for putting the Heat on blast and handing them the title of “biggest flopping team” in the league on the eve of Game 1. Consider this Indiana’s way of trying to gain the pre-game advantage against a team that could very easily sweep through the conference semi-finals.
“Flopping” has been a hot-topic for much of the second half of the NBA season and particularly during these postseason. It’s right up there with debating how the compressed schedule has lead to an increase of injuries around the league.
So credit Indiana with putting the onus on NBA officials to crack down on the flopping and what better way to go about it then even before the party gets started. It’s not like Vogel doesn’t have a case.
“Every drive to the basket, they have guys not making a play on the ball…but sliding in front of drivers. Oftentimes they’re falling down even before contact is even being made. It’ll be interesting to see how the series is officiated,” he continued.
Miami’s response from head coach Erik Spoelstra: “I could care less. We could care less.”
This is a team fending off an underdog status heaped upon them throughout this season. Their 42-24 regular-season record and being slated No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs screams anything but “overlooked”, but when you lack a true superstar (no offense Danny Granger), these things happen — especially when you are going up against the Heat.
With star power comes star status.
And heading into this series, Vogel’s worst fear is LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh receiving the star treatment from the officials.
That’s one thing Vogel can’t control: refs being refs.
What is in his control, however, is the stellar way Indiana continues to play. The Pacers are 16-4 since the start of April, are 7-0 on the road in their last seven games (including two on the road in Orlando) and, believe it or not own a better record than Miami since the All-Star break.
Not bad for a bunch of “underdogs”.
Lets just see how they do against the “floppers”.