Sunday, April 22, 2007

Clean Game or Payback? You Be the Judge

Remember Tim Duncan making the comment last week that he hoped that the Spurs would get "a fair shake" from the refs in the playoffs? Well, in the wake of the Spurs' Game 1 loss to the Nuggets, it would seem that the Spurs are going to get less of a fair shake and more of a pimp slap from the refs in the wake of the Joey Crawford incident. Consider:

-The Spurs averaged 24.1 FTA per game during the regular season.
-In Game 1, the Spurs shot only 10 FTs, including only 6 in the first 44 minutes of the contest
-The Spurs lowest number of FTAs during the regular season: 11
-The Spurs' opponents averaged 21.2 PFs during the regular season
-In Game 1, the Nuggets were called for 13 PFs
-In the two team's three regular season games the Spurs had 21,21, and 27 FTA respectively, and the Nuggets were called for 21,19, and 24 PFs respectively.

Now, this could be a one game abberation. That kind of thing happens. The playoffs are more physical than the regular season. Understood. I can't help but think there might just be a little something fishy though, when a team shoots fewer FTs than they did in any of the previous 82 games, in the wake of a high profile confrontation with a ref that might have resulted in that ref working his last NBA game. I'm just saying: beware the brotherhood of the whistle.


Tian Gua said...

You clearly did not watch this game. If anything the refs allowed more physical play from the Spurs than they did from the nuggets. Duncan was all over Nene's back in the second half, and in the first half it was legitimately frustrating to watch as the refs did their best to keep the listless Spurs in it. The number say one thing, but anyone who watched the game saw that the Nuggets were attacking the basket, while Duncan and the rest of the spurs were settling for heavily contested jumpshots.

Hank said...

Layups: 11-18
Jumpers: 20-51
Dunks: 5-6

Layups: 14-21
Jumpers: 19-63
Dunks: 4-4

25 dunk and layup attempts by the Spurs, 24 by the Nuggets. Did you watch the game good sir?

Ben said...

I watched it, in fact I'm watching again right now, and I'll tell you the Spurs missed a ton of lay ups and good looks.

The TNT broadcast talked about free throws constantly during the game last night - they credited the Nuggets for being the more aggressive, physical team and said that's what was getting them to the line. Watching again now, it's hard to disagree, the Nuggets came out attacking and never stopped.

The aggressive team is almost universally rewarded in the NBA, so the foul disparity is not all that surprising given the way the game played out.

The good news for the Nuggets is that they didn't need any of their depth due to fouls, the bad news is they can't expect the Spurs to struggle so badly from the floor again.

Rickey Henderson said...

What is this basketball that you speak of?

Baseball is on you silly fools. Go watch it. It's a real sport.