Thunder's Derek Fisher fined for flop during playoffs
Fisher becomes the second player fined under the league's stiffer postseason policy, which eliminated the free warning given during the regular season and assesses escalating fines for each subsequent offense. During the regular season, 19 players were warned for flopping and five of those received fines for a second offense. Pacers reserve forward Jeff Pendergraph was the first player fined during the postseason.
Fisher's flop is one of the more interesting violations of the season, as it occurred simultaneously with a similar maneuver by teammate Kevin Martin, who was not fined on this play. Martin, you might remember, was deemed "Flopper of the Year" by The Point Forward after receiving two violations during the regular season.
With a little more than six minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Rockets leading 36-34, Omer Asik collapsed the Thunder's defense by diving into the paint after setting a high screen. As he passed out to a wide open Patrick Beverley, who was spotting up in the left corner, Asik's momentum carried him into both Fisher and Martin, who were waiting just outside the protected circle in hopes of drawing an offensive foul. Both Fisher and Martin went tumbling to the court simultaneously, but replays showed that Asik made more contact with Martin than with Fisher and that Fisher leaned in to initiate the contact before launching himself backwards in a manner inconsistent with the blow he actually received.
This type of flop was specifically noted in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was called out for trying to sell a charge in a similar manner.
“As the highlighted defensive player, No. 3 in the red uniform, defends the driving offensive player, he feels slight contact and then launches himself back to the floor,” the video’s narrator explained. “This reaction by the defensive player is an over-embellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Fisher will now be subject to the postseason fine scale.
Violation 1: $5,000 fine
Violation 2: $10,000 fine
Violation 3: $15,000 fine
Violation 4: $30,000 fine
If a player violates the anti-flopping rule five times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Fisher, 38, averaged 5.3 points and 1.4 assists in 33 appearances for the Mavericks and Thunder this season.
Oklahoma City, the West's No. 1 seed, defeated Houston in six games and opened its conference semifinals series against Memphis, the No. 5 seed, on Sunday.