NBA Officiating #NotAsBadAsFansClaim

Since the start of the NBA Finals 2012, I’ve been hearing how bad the officiating has been. Overwhelmingly this criticism has been directed at The Miami Heat, with claims of the officials being on the side of Miami over OKC. Granted the people yelling are almost always on the losing end of any given game, so the only thing they can say is the officials blew the game.

So me being me, I decided to look at the numbers to see what they say. Are the officials really that bad or are angry fans placing their frustrations about losing square in the lap of NBA referees? So here are the numbers.

In the 4 games played as of 6-19-2012 the Miami Heat has attempted 10 more free throws than the OKC Thunder; 103 – 93. Proof positive that OKC is being shafted; the NBA wants Lebron to win a championship, right! Well if you answered yeah that’s right, then you’re wrong, and here’s why.

Game 1: OKC 20 – 27, Heat 14 – 18

Game 2: OKC 19 – 26, Heat 22 – 25

Game 3: OKC 15 – 24, Heat 31 – 35

Game 4: OKC 15 – 16, Heat 18 – 25

After 3 games Miami was leading by only 1 free throw attempt; OKC was 54 – 77 and Miami was 67 – 78. 1 more attempt but 13 more made over a 3 game span. Then in Game 4 when the complaining reached epidemic proportions the Heat went 18 – 25 vs. OKC’s 15 – 16. Those dirty referee’s were trying to help Miami win, David Stern should fire all of them and then be fired.

Well here’s a little something that you need to take into account before you go all nutty and claim the NBA is rigged. Although I think that the NBA is, and always has been skewed towards their superstar players and big market teams, the officiating still isn’t as bad as fans claim it is.

Why you might ask?

10 more free throw attempts in a 4 game series amounts to 2.5 more attempts per game which boils down to 1.25 more fouls called for Miami over the 4 game period, right.  Even if we just focus on the Game 4, you still have to factor in the fact that Miami was leading at the end of the game and OKC had to foul a few times to stop the clock.

So even though Miami got 4 more fouls called for them in Game 4 than OKC, which resulted in 9 free throw attempts, 6 of those attempts (3 fouls) were in the last few minutes of the game when OKC was fouling intentionally to stop the clock and get the ball back at half court.

Now let’s look back a couple of games and then you realize that each game was close till the end, all nail biters. Anybody that knows basketball knows that in the last couple minutes of a game when it’s close, teams will intentionally foul their opponents to stop the clock and get the ball back. This has been NBA strategy since I’ve been watching basketball. The same thing occurred at the end of the last 3 games, in which Miami won. So in reality, Miami really isn’t up in attempts or actual fouls being called in their favor, because NBA strategy dictates that you foul players in close games when the clock is winding down.

But that’s not what all the animosity is about is it; it’s about a bunch of Lebron hating NBA fans being pissed that their team by default, whatever team that plays The Miami Heat, is losing in the NBA Finals, and that’s about it!