Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert fined for comments on officiating in Suns game

Mar 31, 2023, 1:55 PM

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $25,000 for comments made that criticized the officiating after the team’s 107-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

“It’s (explicit). (Explicit). It’s not fair,” Gobert said, according to Minnesota Star Tribune’s Christophe Hine. “It’s really not fair. Every night. I’ve been in this league for 10 years and I try to always give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard for me to think they’re not trying to help them win tonight. It’s hard for me to think they didn’t try to help the Warriors win the other night or Sacramento Kings the other night. It’s just so obvious. As a basketball player that’s been in this league for so long, it’s disrespectful and it’s sucks, to be honest …

“I think you want to see KD in the playoffs, Steph in the playoffs, you want to see LeBron in the playoffs. Timberwolves are not there yet.”

Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch was also fined $15,000.

Free throw disparity has been a recurring problem for the Suns as head coach Monty Williams and guard Devin Booker have been openly skeptical of some results in games prior to Wednesday.

This punishment for an opposing team is a notable reversal of fortune for Phoenix.

In three games over the last two weeks, the Suns were unable to overcome double-digit deficits in free throw attempts with losses to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 22, Oklahoma City Thunder on March 19 and Milwaukee Bucks on March 14.

The Lakers enjoyed a 46-20 free throw attempt advantage while and Bucks soaked in a 37-16 free throw attempt advantage over the Suns. Both games resulted in double-digit Suns losses.

On Wednesday against the Timberwolves, Booker got to the stripe 15 times while the Suns as a team made 27 trips to the free throw line. Minnesota earned just 12 free throws.

Getting to the free throw line consistently could be a huge advantage for the Suns going forward.

The Suns rank ninth in the NBA in team free throw percentage with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul all ranked in the top 50 among individual qualifiers.

That has been difficult as the Suns rank third-to-last in the NBA in attempts per game with a high propensity to take mid-range shots that tend to generate less foul calls than drives to the basket.

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