The battle of tactical wits and mind games have now spilled over beyond the four corners of the court – to the post game pressers to be exact.
After Dragons tactician Brian Goorjian commented on the officiating, even saying that the Kings "got away with murder" in Game 1, it’s now Ginebra head coach Tim Cone's turn to delve into the psych game and noted that they felt like playing "like a visiting team" after not getting the calls in that Game 2 loss.
Cone felt like his counterpart did a good job on selling to the press about the calls in Game 1 which resulted to a 99-82 loss on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
“I thought their coach, coach Brian, did a great job at selling to the press about the calls from the last game. He did a great job of selling it. We knew we were not getting calls tonight. So I feel we are the visiting team tonight,” said Cone.
Goorjian, during his post-game interview in Game 1, admitted that some of their fouls were lousy although he also pointed out that the Kings did the same against Nicholson but they were not getting the calls.
It seemed to have worked and Cone might have a point.
The Kings were assessed for 21 fouls against the Dragons’ 13. That translated to a 21-5 disparity in free throw attempts in favor of Bay Area.
Still, Cone is giving much of the credit to Goorjian and the rest of the Dragons’ coaching staff for making the necessary adjustments especially on the defensive end.
Scottie Thompson didn’t have the same impact as compared in Game 1 after being shadowed by Kobey Lam this time around while Justin Brownlee, although still finishing with 32 points, had to bleed for every point with the taller and longer Zhu Songwei guarding him.
“They really dissected our offense and we couldn't get to our spots. They did a good job on Justin making him a volume shooter and they were getting to the rim this time,” said Cone
“We didn't have a whole lot of focus from the start and they got everything they wanted tonight and we didn't get anything that we wanted to do so they did a great job in disrupting,” he added.
Now, it's for Cone and the Kings' chance to try and make some adjustments for Game 3. Good thing, they have more time as the series takes a week-long break for the holiday celebrations.
“Like I said in Game 1, we didn't win the series after Game 1, we didn't lose the series after Game 2. Tough to beat a good team three times in a row, which is what we are trying to do,” said Cone.
“There's a lot of things to look at, good thing we have time. We got time to turn it around. We focus and be ready for the next game . They're tough and that's one thing we learned tonight. I think we just started to feel like that we just show up and win and we can't do that against this team,” he rued.