Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert were both fined for flopping after Game 5 against the Miami Heat. The Pacers have been critical of the officiating at times in this series, most notably when Paul George complained after a Game 4 blowout loss at Miami. There are no points for style in the playoffs, only the wins and losses count. But the Pacers, with all the infighting and excuses they’re making, are not endearing themselves to anyone. The flopping is also nothing new, as they have been by far the team penalized the most since flopping fines were instituted in 2012.
Via Spotrac, only nine teams have been fined for flopping so far. The Pacers lead the way with seven fines totaling $40,000, with Stephenson as the main culprit with four separate fines. Here’s the flop from him in Game 5 that penalized him $10,000, the most expensive flop in NBA history so far:
It’s about as blatant as you can get when it comes to flopping, but Roy Hibbert topped him in the fourth quarter. Watch as Mario Chalmers comes in the paint, and with just a gentle push, sends the Pacers All-Star center flying:
The Pacers are desperate in this series to find whatever edge they can, and it appears that process includes embellishing any physical contact for the referees. They are starting to develop a reputation for it though, and while it could just be for this series, that’s not something you want going forward. The referees will be more aware of their reputation and less likely to give you a borderline call when it matters.
As for criticizing the officials and then putting on a master class in flopping on your home floor? It’s frustrating and hard to root for, which is exactly what the Pacers have been throughout their entire playoff run so far.
(H/T Trey Kerby, James Herbert)
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