Tony Allen, guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, most definitely got fouled. Flagrantly fouled, actually.
But he still flopped. And the league is nailing him for the move against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.
The league announced Friday that Allen has been fined $5,000 for violating the anti-flopping policy. There are no warnings in the postseason, with the first offense being a $5,000 fine.
In the fourth quarter in San Antonio, Allen was about to lay the ball in, but Manu Ginobili grabbed his arm and pulled him to the floor -- a fairly dangerous play that was called a Flagrant 1 and upheld after video review.
The league defines flopping as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player." Allen didn't flop on the contact, though. Where Allen flopped was in his selling of the foul. He pretended to have fallen on his head, immediately grabbing it and writhing on the floor in apparent pain. With sports leagues taking such a careful approach with head injuries, Allen's acting job was an obvious attempt to draw the flagrant call at a very critical stage of the game.
The league also says this: "The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact." Which is really exactly what Allen did. His reaction wasn't consistent with the contact on the play.
It was a flagrant regardless of his exaggeration, but he got the call, made both free throws and Mike Conley then tied the game on the next possession. Had the Grizzlies ended up winning in overtime, this would've been the best $5,000 that Allen ever spent.
Allen is the fourth player fined for flopping during the postseason, joining Jeff Pendergraph, J.R. Smith and Derek Fisher.