The common refrain among NBA fans the last few years, and more specifically fans of whichever team the Los Angeles Lakers are facing, is that Kobe Bryant and the Lakers get EVERY call.(Lakers opponents, most recently the Denver Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari, also complain about it.)
Ticky-tack fouls, fouls that didn’t even happen, etc. always go the Lakers way, they argue.
Well TrueHoop ranked all 16 teams in the playoffs by free throw attempts per possession as a way to measure which teams are getting the benefit of the doubt over others.
Although the numbers are not conclusive, they show that the Lakers really aren’t getting much favoritism as they rank 12th among all playoff teams in free throw attempts per possession.
Another interesting discovery: the Lakers’ in-arena rivals the Los Angeles Clippers, who’ve been showered with “Flop City” comments recently, take a significant amount of free throws per possession (3rd among playoff teams) but less than their current opponent the Memphis Grizzlies, who come in first.
The caveat here is that free throws per possession are not the tell-all determining who gets calls their way more often than not.
Whether a call was right or wrong is entirely subjective and without film study numbers don’t provide the full answer.
Either way, this discovery should quiet all of Kobe’s and the Lakers’ critics, shouldn’t it?
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