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2012 NBA Playoffs
Erik Spoelstra's comments critical of the officiating during the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Pacers may be justified, but the Heat coach will have to abide by the league's strict policies on criticism of officials and pay $25,000 in fines.
Spoelstra made the comments following the shootaround prior to their series-clinching 105-93 victory in Game 6 over Indiana.
Spoelstra was quoted by several media outlets saying the NBA "does not have a problem" with the Pacers committing hard fouls on Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade during the bruising series.
"In nine games now there's been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don't have a problem with it, so we don't have a problem with it. We'll focus on what we can control," said Spoelstra as reported by ESPN.com.
On Friday, the league came down on Spoelstra, with Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations, announcing the fine on Miami's four-year coach in a press release.
In Game 5 of the series, several hard fouls were made by both sides, including a flagrant foul on Wade by Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough.
It resulted to another flagrant foul in the ensuing play, this time it was Udonis Haslem checking Hansbrough, which appeared to be in retaliation for the hard foul on Wade.
Heat forward Dexter Pittman became the third player to be called for excessive force following a foul Lance Stephenson.
Both Haslem and Pittman were meted suspension, while Hansbrough was not sanctioned.
The decisions did not sit well with Spoelstra, who has coached the Heat to 148 wins and three playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2011 NBA Finals.
It resulted to Spoelstra's public comments critical about how the Miami-Indiana playoff series was being officiated, which cost him $25,000.
Miami will face the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference title.
It is a rematch of last year's conference semifinals, where the Heat knocked out Boston in five games.
In 2010, the Celtics ousted the Heat in the first round and then eliminated the LeBron James- led Cleveland Cavaliers in semifinal round.
Spoelstra Fined 25K For Criticizing Refs in Pacers Series