Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has accused grand final opponents Melbourne of flopping, saying his charges must be super heroes given the way United players bounce off them.
The best-of-five NBL series is locked at 1-1 heading into Friday night’s clash at Perth’s RAC Arena.
Gleeson was unhappy Wildcats centre Tom Jervis was called for some illegal screens in the series opener last Friday, claiming Melbourne players exaggerated the contact.
Jervis was called for a screen foul late in the first quarter when Chris Goulding crashed into him.
Goulding crumpled to the floor in dramatic fashion after the heavy hit.
Gleeson was left even angrier in the second term when Jervis was again called for an illegal screen after blocking the path of United star Casper Ware.
Ware didn’t fall to the court, but Gleeson screamed at the referees that Jervis “didn’t move” while setting the screen.
Gleeson didn’t name names when he raised the issue of Melbourne’s flopping on Thursday, but his comments are sure to light a fuse heading into game three.
“They’ve got a couple of guys who accentuate contact out there,” Gleeson said.
“Sometimes it feels like we’re a Marvel hero they bounce that far off.
“They have a couple of guys that minimum contact, maximal exposure out there.”
Gleeson said the referees actually admitted to making an error on one of the screening calls during the series opener.
The three-time Championship-winning coach hopes the referees will keep an eye out for any player who is flopping during in game three.
“It (a flopping foul) was called early in the year,” Gleeson said.
“I don’t know if they’ve put their whistles away for the finals with that. All we can do is make sure we’re setting great screens.
“If they (United players) bounce off like we’re a Marvel hero, there’s nothing we can do about it.
“If it’s illegal – call it, not a problem. But you’ve just got to be consistent.”
The battle between Ware and Wildcats star Bryce Cotton will go a long way towards deciding the winner on Friday night.
But Gleeson said his team must also pull their weight in the rebounding stakes after losing that crucial stat 51-38 in Sunday’s 92-74 loss in Melbourne.
“We need our big guys to rebound, big time,” Gleeson said.
“If all the action’s in the kitchen, don’t be out on the porch.
“We were waiting for the ball to come to us. You’ve got to go and get it, especially in the play-offs.”