Is The League Awarding The Lakers With More Free Throws? NBA Commentator Drops Eye-Opening Stats
The Los Angeles Lakers and their free throw attempts have been a hot topic since last season. They consistently draw more fouls than their opponents, leaving fans and even league personalities frustrated.
Just this season, Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic faced a fine for complaining about the Lakers’ 23-2 free throw advantage in the fourth quarter of their matchup. On Saturday, it was Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who voiced his displeasure at the Lakers’ 43 attempts compared to the Warriors’ 16.
Adding fuel to the fire, play-by-play announcer Billy Mac highlighted the Lakers’ reliance on free throws this season during their Monday night game against the Houston Rockets.
Billy Mac: “The Lakers have shot 233 more free throws coming into this game than their opponents this year. Far and away ahead of the 2nd place team, the New York Knicks… Oddly, the Lakers are dead last in drives to the basket.”
The free throw discrepancy is undeniable, but is it simply a result of their style of play, or are the referees being lenient with them?
Looking at the numbers further, the Lakers are seventh in the league in free throw attempts but have the highest differential. To phrase it another way, teams get fewer free throws against the Lakers but more against other teams.
So, is this because the Lakers are masters of both avoiding fouls and drawing them? Or is it due to teams opting for more outside shots against the Lakers’ inside focus? Or, could it be something as simple as favorable calls from the referees?
Answering these questions require observing the numbers alongside actual gameplay. But regardless of the conclusion, one thing is certain. When it comes to free throws, the Lakers rarely stay out of the spotlight.