Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images
“The [Blazers] held and grabbed on every play, and they got away with fouls all over the place,” Van Gundy said, per the Detroit News‘ Rod Beard. “We got absolutely screwed all night.”
Van Gundy is likely feeling pressure after Detroit suffered its seventh defeat in eight March games. The result dropped the Pistons to 30-39 on the season, and they sit 6.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Miami Heat.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Detroit has a less than 1 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Should the Pistons fail to advance to the playoffs, it could seal Van Gundy’s fate as the team’s coach and president of basketball operations.
Earlier this month, Pistons owner Tom Gores declined to offer any hint about whether Van Gundy will be back for next year.
“We haven’t won enough, but I can tell you this team works really hard and Stan works really hard,” Gores said, per the Detroit Free Press‘ Vince Ellis. “He’s been here four years, dedicating his whole life. I’m not giving up on Stan; I’m not giving up on this team.”
Van Gundy’s anger about the officiating from Saturday may have been building as well. According to NBA.com, the Pistons are drawing the league’s third-fewest personal fouls (18.4 per game). That’s a somewhat surprising number since much of the team’s offense flows through Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, two players who generally operate closer to the basket.
Van Gundy may be glad to have gotten Saturday’s rant off his chest, but it’s almost certainly going to a draw fine from the league in the coming days.