Stan Van Gundy isn’t shy about voicing his thoughts on a particular topic — shocker, I know. While the Detroit Pistons coach can rub people the wrong way for his whiny voice tone, the guy usually makes for a good interview because of his candor. And that’s exactly what happened in Game 1 of the Pistons first-round playoff matchup against the number one-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.
At the start of the second quarter, Van Gundy was asked about how he felt his team was dealing with the emotions and frustrations of playoff basketball. Stan, of course, didn’t hold back with quickly moving the discussion towards the officials allowing LeBron James to do whatever he wants. In addition, Stan made it very clear that his team needs to understand this notion — even if SVG made this determination after the first 12 minutes of Game 1 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Detroit would end up dropping Game 1 to the Cavs despite entering the fourth quarter with the lead. However, that won’t be the only thing coach Van Gundy will be losing. SVG’s wallet will be a little lighter whenever the fine is handed down for criticizing the officials and maybe this is why the Van Gundy’s tone changed when discussing his comments with ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell.
“Look, I thought it evened out really well. But early on, I thought there were two pretty obvious offensive fouls down there on him. But it’s two calls in an entire game after that.”
“Look, the refereeing had nothing to do with tonight. They did a good job. It went both ways. I thought they did a really good job. It was decided by the players on the floor, as it should be.”
The loss of cash in Van Gundy’s wallet might be worth it, however. This tactic isn’t anything new as we’ve seen plenty of coaches use this psychological strategy in the past with the idea of planting the seed in the head of officials for the next game.
Don’t sleep on the Pistons, though. Detroit has the firepower to make this series interesting and if Van Gundy’s squad can get a few more calls in Game 2, maybe they can sneak out a split before the series heads to Motown.
Just don’t get your hopes up, Pistons fans. You’re still going up against that LeBron fella.