Look At The Box Score

paul pierce fould by derek fisher

“Oh my God… the Celtics took 38 free throws to the Lakers 10.  They got SCREWED!!!”

There you go.  All the proof you need right there that the refs were in the Celtics pockets.  How can you go to the line 28 more times than a team WITHOUT the refs in your pocket… right?

Unless there was a stat that might somehow, miraculously, more accurately reflect how many more fouls were called on the Lakers.  Oh… if only a stat like that existed. 

Oh wait… it does.  Its called PERSONAL FOULS!!  And what does that reveal? 

The Lakers committed 28 personal fouls.  The Celtics:  21. 

So for all the hemming and hawing… for all the “Lakers got hosed by the refs” talk… the difference in the fouls was a mere 7.  Single digits. 

So what might account for the free throw disparity?  Could it be the fact that the Celtics drove to the hoop a lot more?  Could it be that Leon Powe was doing chin ups the whole game (or trying to) and getting whacked when he didn’t actually get to the rim?  The fouls called on the Lakers were shooting fouls… the fouls called on the C’s were either offensive fouls… or reach-ins as the Lakers danced on the perimeter.

I know this isn’t convenient to Phil Jackson… who has turned whining about calls into an art form.  But the simple fact is that the foul disparity is nowhere near what many would like you to believe.

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62 Responses

  1. Good work John. Since no one at my work can stay up and watch these games (I live in NYC, so no one is vested enough to stay up) I’m always asked to recap. They asked me about the refs, and I told them what I honestly thought “it obviously seemed to be one-sided but I don’t remember thinking ‘Wow, we got away with that,’ or ‘that was a bullshit call’ any more than a normal game.” Thanks for the numbers.

    Next you can do an analysis on KG. He’s getting blasted for not playing in the paint and not stepping up in the clutch (I’m doing it at times too). But I’m sure he’s stepping on the other end of the floor and on the glass.

  2. Great point that was the first thing I checked this morning in the box score and was a little surprised it was as close as it was (7).

  3. On the surface, 28 to 21 seems rather inconsequential but it’s actually a 25% difference.

    That’s larger than it seems.

  4. Sure Dave.

    I’ll say this about KG: People get caught up in him being 7 feet and what his game should be. But he’s been in the league 13 years. This is his game. He’s primarily a jump shooter… and he doesn’t change his game depending on game situation. The only time he’ll be more greedy is when the rest of his team is obviously off. But on a night like last night… He’ll pass to someone if he feels that person has a better shot. That’s who he is… and who he will always be.

    I don’t think he’s shy about the clutch. I think he’s always looking for the best shot. And although you and I might think KG vs. just about anyone is a mismatch in KG’s favor… he’s happy to pass that up if he thinks someone else is more open.

  5. Yeah Brandon… if you want to go by percentages. But what if you go by averages? That’s only an average difference of just over 2 per quarter.

    The point being… people looking at the free throw disparity make it seem like the Lakers were called for twice as many fouls… and they weren’t.

  6. great game, great ball movement last night. the lakers never took the ball to the rack which is why they never had any fouls called. Game 3 will be different and I suspect kobe, lamar, and gasol to be very aggressive and get to the charity stripe more than the c’s.

    Any thoughts on the Powe chant (braves chant with Powe) they are trying to start?

    - section 312 CELTICS PRIDE

  7. I think we also need to highlight the play of PJ Brown, the guy has been amazing and has been a major reason we’ve made it this far. He will come up huge in LA and help us win one on the road.

    Please keep cassell on the bench and have RayRay or Pierce take the ball up when rondo is out.

  8. Also, I believe it was the second quarter when that alltime great coach Jackson ran out a unit with all bench players that the Lakers picked up two ridiculous (as in ridiculously lazy and weak) fouls about a minute into the quarter. So basically when you start doing stuff like that, it’s going to hurt as the opponent will be in the penalty sooner than later.

  9. Pete I am also in section 312 (Row 1) and will happily try to help out with the Powe chant. Although the next tickets I have are for GAME 7 and as much as I would love to have that game happen, I would be just as happy to see the C’s just close it out, whether it be on the road or in game 6.

    Go C’s

  10. i’m not sure how i feel about the chant; haven’t joined in because i’m not sure i like it.

    I’m also not a big fan of the Beat LA chant; not sure if people realize where that chant started from!

    It also pisses me off that the fans need the jumbotron to tell them when to cheer. We all (312) scream defense and then the jumbotron screws up the momentum.

    i guess i shouldn’t be this negative we are up 2 games

  11. I hear you on that. I doubt most people would realize that people were chanting POWE anyway and would ask why people were doing the chop.

    And yes when you have a LOT of people who are there just because the Celtics are doing well, they will need the jumbotron to know when to cheer because they aren’t really basketball fans, they are fans of a winning team. At least its not as bad as some other stadiums where the announcer yells defense because the crowd doesn’t get into it enough.

    Go Celtics lets take one in LA and finish them out at home!!!
    OR just take two in LA I would be fine with that too…

  12. Great Point!!!

  13. Nice work. However, Plaschke’s a douche who deserves everything he gets.

  14. Where is Kobe’s other hand in the photo. And what is he staring at?

  15. The Lakers were simply outplayed. That’s fact.

    I do think the officiating has been awful this series, though. There were some really bad fouls being called, where I would prefer to see the players actually play the game. And the backcourt calls… thanks to the dumbest NBA gimmick in many years, the massive NBA trophy logo at half court… are mind numbing.

  16. Please, just be a little open-minded. If the freethrow disparity was the other way around and it was in favor of the Lakers you Boston fans would have something to say too. Phil Jackson is brutally honest. He isn’t going to make excuses for a loss. He says it the way he sees it. He calls his own players “Space Cadets” when their heads aren’t in the game. The announcers doing the game on ABC even brought up some of the no-calls for the Lakes. The broadcasters on AM570 (who are also blunt) said the officiating was bad. The news reporter after the game said the officiating was bad. Most of the articles on ESPN and NBA.COM said Boston got all the calls..

    Even one of your very own said that the calls were favorable to Boston.. calling “favorable” an understatement.

    “They were given an ongoing boost by favorable officiating (that’s an understatement)”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/080609

    I have no doubt in my mind that the game was poorly called but are the refs to blame? YES and NO.

    The refs made the right calls on the Lakers (even though half were touch fouls) but were very hesitant to blow the whistle against the C’s.. why? Because of you fans. You fans that were at the game deserve much of the credit for the win. You guys proved that a crowd can really rally behind its team and force the referees to let some of the physical play go (at the Lakers’ expense).

    You guys deserved the win. And so will we, the Lakers will take 3-4-and-5 at Staples nd will try their luck again back in Beantown.

  17. Pretty sure lakers had more points down low

  18. lakers shooting fouls : 16
    celtics : 3

  19. thanks for making my point.

  20. your point was that there wasn’t a foul discrepancy(there wasn’t a pf discrepancy but there was an ENORMOUS shooting foul discrepancy, which doesn’t make sense since lakers were pretty aggressive down low despite not getting calls) and that the Lakers weren’t being aggresive and not driving and scoring in the paint.

    I just proved both wrong, thx for proving to all of us that you’re retarded.

  21. Hah. The Lakers were aggressive down low? Are you high? When did the Lakers go to the hoop??

    There’s one reason and one reason alone for so many more shooting foul calls: the Celtics spent the night under the basket.

    Kobe Bryant took 7 free throws (which is EXACTLY what Paul Pierce took). Radmanovic and Odom played like bitches and paid for it with zero free throws. Gasol turned in his balls after 1 quarter of aggressive play… and half of Derek Fisher’s 8 shots were 3 pointers. No wonder they didn’t go to the line.

    The Lakers took NOTHING to the hole all night. They shot 21 threes (compared to the Celtics 14). Meanwhile… the ONE Celtic who was dunking all over you guys took 13 free throws. Amazing how that happens, huh? When you look at that game… and you see Leon swinging from the rim all night… its amazing to think a guy that aggressive would go to the line a lot.

    Oh wait… it’s not amazing. Its exactly what you’d expect. Aggressive play gets rewarded. Playing like a bitch and reaching in like the Lakers do gets penalized.

    End…. of….. story.

    Take your crap elsewhere. You’re trying to swim in the deep end of basketball knowledge… when you belong in the kiddie pool.

  22. I guess some people can’t read so ill write it in caps

    POINTS IN THE PAINT: LAKERS – 40, CELTICS – 34

    it’s pretty hard to remember how the other team was playing when all your looking at is the score difference and keeping only your own team’s plays in mind.

    Lakers went to the hoop just like they always do, THEY JUST GOT NOTHING CALLED. How hard is it to put two and two together?

  23. It’s just mind boggling arbitrarily saying lakers didn’t go to the hoop when they had even more points down low than the celtics – its funny because you praise the celts for being super aggresive that night yet they had less points down low than the lakers who you said were being less aggressive. Are you only watching the game when the Celts have the ball?

    The only reason for the score difference was that the celts were on fire from 3′s last game(good for them) and they got 20 more free throw attempts.

  24. jumpers 14 feet away from just inside the free throw line count as “points in the paint”.

    Funny… you’re the only one… even among Lakers fans… who says they were aggressive last night. I think everyone else with eyes pretty much realizes that the Lakers were a passive team content to take jumpers.

  25. They weren’t aggressive on defense at all. I never said they weren’t. But even that’s not possible for the smaller team when they are getting love taps and after-shot contact called on them all night.

    They didn’t have a single shot “just below the free throw line” idiot. All paint points were a result of legit down low scoring.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=280608002

  26. Pointing out that I’m the only one of thousands who seems to actually understand what’s happening can be taken as a complement I guess.

  27. never said that they were*

  28. Take a real good look at that thing and check out how many more shots were taken OUTSIDE the lane. Especially in the 3rd… look how much closer to the hoop all the shots are for the C’s.

    Break that shot chart down by quarter:

    1st quarter… when the Lakers took a lead… they were doing things the right way. Pau went to the hole. Bully for them. Too bad they only did this early in the game.

    2nd quarter… some of the same… but that ended when the C’s took over mid way through.

    3rd quarter… virtually nothing. The Lakers balls went into a jar.

    4th quarter… points on the paint came on a lob to Turiaf and a Vlad 5-step breakaway dunk.

    And part of the disparity for the points in the paint can also be attributed to the fact that the Celtics got hacked and sent to the line… and that would also go into explaining why he had so many more free throws. The Celtics earned it at the line.

    Bottom line… ONE guy accounted for the biggest percentage of the free throw disparity: Leon Powe… and that’s because he went hard to the hole every time he touched the ball.

  29. I guess not having any stats or actual situations besides one prominent defensive mistake that you used to generalize the entire flow of the game finally catches up to you.

  30. Are we looking at the same chart, all the X’s in the second third and fourth were pretty much fouls. Looking at what happened in this game and at the stats it’s clear that celts got everything called PLUS they got shooting fouls calls on fuking jumpers. Lakers got a total of 3 shooting fouls and one of them was on an and1 which counts as a make. So ONLY TWO X’s were called the ENTIRE game. All of the celts X’s were tho.

    Relax

  31. Add 8 more points from free throws which should’ve been called and that gives the Lakers 110 points at Boston’s house. So the offensive team did what it wanted meanwhile the best defensive team cant even keep them below 100 in their own house. Hmm the Celts outscoring the Lakers..i wonder how..oh right 20 more free throws.

  32. The Lackers are expert whiners, but amateur defenders. Last time I checked, whining doesn’t win championships.

  33. I see… so you think every time the Lakers missed they were fouled.

    Those little “x’s” are missed shots. When you get fouled… they don’t go down as missed shots.

  34. NO SHIT GENIUS because the officials didn’t call them as fouls. Hence they are X’s and count as missed. They should have at least gotten 4 of those X’s shooting fouls from plays I DISTINCTLY remember from the game.

    Vujacic hand was slapped after he launched the three btw, but the refs seemed to like calling after-contact fouls for only one team.

  35. This is going nowhere. You’re arguing that every miss was a foul. You can’t be helped.

  36. I just said I remember 4 “misses” that should’ve been called as fouls, way to generalize saying I thought all the “x’s” were fouls. Which I never said. “They should have at least gotten 4 of those X’s as shooting fouls from plays I DISTINCTLY remember from the game.”

    you lose. good day sir.

  37. This is going nowhere because you fail to just admit the ref’s won this one for you and that Boston wasn’t playing particularly good defense and ended up OUTSCORING the lakers due to – again – the ref’s substantial lopsidedness.

  38. Again… 28 fouls to 21. Not a substantial difference in foul calls. If the refs had won this for us… there would have been a massive difference in the calls.

    Keep up the crying though… its fun to see a Lakers fan in such denial.

  39. In u stink’s defense, the Lakers suck. So don’t be too hard on him.

    Hey Red’s, great argument, 28-21 PF’s difference. I hope the national media or atleast the local media out here point this out too. But I doubt it, I guess knee conspiracies and refs on the take make better stories than who the BETTER team is in this series/season. GO CELTICS!

  40. What denial? you’re the one who’s in denial thinking you’ve won this thing just because you won both at home. Lakers will finish you at home unlike the hawks.

    16 shooting fouls to 3, if you don’t see the disparity there meanwhile knowing the lakers went down low more then there is no hope. Personal fouls not committed during shots can be seen and called by the most NOVICE of referees , the thing that is supposed to separate Finals ref’s with regular season ref’s is the ability to judge contact during the shot. And that was clearly not done when looking at 16 to 3

  41. What argument, he copy/pasted a number without even accounting for it or even trying to explain what it actually signifies. HEY LOOK 29-21 LOOK ITS FINE WE DONT NEED EXPLANATIONS

  42. It’s 28-21, get your facts right, jeez.

  43. And im no Doctor, but if 3 minutes ago you were writhing in pain and had to be CARRIED off the court and then the next minute you hop right back into the game because you realize you’ve done something stupid, i’d say there is no conspiracy, the truth(LOL) – is obvious.

  44. PF is personal fouls and tht was 29-21 because the refs were making the right calls AWAY from the shots which is easy to do and should average correct for both team or near so.

    the disparity was in SHOOTING fouls, it was 16-3 , I counted it myself.

  45. And in case you’re even more retarded than i thought, it is shooting fouls that determine whether or not you get to the line.

  46. Really? Ever hear of something called the penalty?

  47. The sorry one-liners are wasting my time.

    Good luck in the next few games, hopefully they will be more fairly called so that not only one city gets to enjoy watching their team play in the finals.

  48. 28-21, don’t cheat U STINK!

    I don’t even care about all this talk. All I care about is the W! (W stands for Win, in case you’re even more retarded than I thought)

  49. 28 – 21 total personal fouls

    16 -3 shooting fouls(that result in 2 free throws), which are counted as total personal’s.

  50. dude the point your missing is that we have the best D in the league…. your team is missing shots without getting fouled, they are missing wide open jumpers in the lane compared to our celtics getting fouled after we beat your team off the dribble…. that is why you “scored” more in the paint, we didnt foul your team when you got in the lane as much as u hackers hit us when we beat you… get over it, your down 2-0 and are clearly nervous your gonna get blown out, your lakers are a joke and are all mixed up now, sorry hahah

  51. go to

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=280608002

    hold “ctrl” and press “f”

    type in “shooting foul” in the search field and hit next. Then count for each time. I dont even know why im responding, when one person make its clear they don’t understand they shouldn’t deserve to have another adult explain something so simple to them.

  52. If we are missing wide open jumpers, that kind of means that your defense is shit and that all we had is a bad game. There is no reason to be found here. That has been made clear.

  53. it also means your offense is shit as well, your team is the less agressive, passive, scared team, hence they are not attacking the rim, and are not getting as much calls, what dont you get about that?? the free throw disparity is no conspiracy, i find it SOO funny you laker fans think this is one big vendetta against your team when your team was the favorite and “clear” winner of this series, its so pathetic how much of denial and weak state you are in now, your losing, get over it, you suck…. your team sucks, plays no D, your stars have not shown up…. what do you expect. quit your bitching.

  54. The crowd got to the refs. Our offense was fine we would have scored over 110 points against the “best” defensive team in the league whose opponents averaged less than 95 when playing at Boston had the refs just called a measly but appropriate 4 more fouls over the entire game. You guys OUTSCORED the most effecient offensive team because the refs gave you WAY more calls than you should have gotten.

  55. Whatever, stop being bitter towards me just because I’m trying to set you straight so you can appreciate the game more. Good night.

  56. hahha night buddy, hope u can get through those nightmares of the celtics haunting your dreams, sorry your team isnt even putting up a fight….. maybe they can be more competitive in game 3………………

  57. Sorry U STINK you go over the game like you work with CSI trying to piece together some crime. Ever here of perception is reality?

    Fact: The Lakers’ defense was awful for two + quarters. Didn’t attempt to draw a charge. Didn’t attempt to clog the lane or block the path to the rim. All they did was hack at Boston.
    Fact: Powe attacked the rim creating plenty of contact that the ref’s HAD to call.
    Fact: Lakers fouled too early in each quarter. In 1st it was Truth getting hit. In 2nd and 4th it was Powe.
    Fact: Lakers’ are yet to show the intensity, drive or aggression needed to compete in the Finals.

    Ask yourself and other Laker fans these questions…
    Are the Lakers matching the Celtics aggression? Hustle? Defense? Attitude? Intangibles? Were you a ref could you possibly imagine a discrepancy going in favor of the team that is dominating in these areas?
    Also who of LA’s starters can one put on Pierce? After all he’s been drawing a bunch of fouls on Vlad/Sasha/Ariza early. And early fouls increases odds of a team getting into the penalty on any given quarter.
    Lastly what good is home court advantage if the refs aren’t gonna let some slide especially when the visiting team is unwilling to force the issue?
    The Gold and Purple will get more favorable calls at Staples Center but only if they show up and make a smart adjustment regarding Radmanovich.

    (BTW the smart adjustment on Vlad would had been canning him after the snowboarding incident)

  58. i really wish there was a foul chart, but i don’t think anyone has that. it would be very interesting to see where the fouls were called and have an indication if it was in the act of shooting or not. the shot charts are interesting to study, as you can see that the lakers, over the course of the game, progressively shot further away from the basket. they have a lot of shots, and makes, in the paint, even right under the basket, but since you can’t see the drives to the basket where the player was fouled it’s hard to do a realistic comparison.

    anyway, great post, and after looking at the statistics and shot charts i feel much better about the celtics win. sure, there were some missed calls, there always will be. and the home team gets some benefit, naturally. but this game is being painted as a lopsided affair where the officiating was the reason for the win and that’s just not the case. the refs reacted to the aggressive play of the celtics and every nba player and coach knows that the aggressor will get the benefit of the doubt the majority of the time.

    the lakers looked very passive and afraid to attack, and the celtics defense made it very difficult for them to do that. i’m biased as a boston fan, but i honestly think any reasonable observer can see that.

  59. Each team had their share of petty fouls. But shooting fouls called on the Lakers were pretty damn obvious hard fouls. I don’t what others are arguing about. I don’t remember any Laker player getting whacked as much as Powe was. Another reason why Celtics got more freethrows was because Lakers went to the penalty early. Some fouls weren’t called on the Celtics either. Oh and on another note, Radman’s breakaway dunk that got them within 4 points was a travel. Check the replay. The guy took at least 3 steps trust me. I bet some people might even say 4 steps. I think Radman wasn’t decided on what to do or where to take off. Plus he had to look back to where Posey was. LOL! What a no-call!

  60. For traveling you start to count steps AFTER the ball is picked up. Technically i could dribble the ball and make a thousand steps before it gets back into my hand and it wouldn’t be a travel.

  61. You’ve been alone in this too long u stink…

    Your fighting a valiant, yet hopeless battle…

    A) Your dealing with Boston fans…the worst fans in America…they’ve been spoiled with baseball and football over the last decade and have become greedy…once upon a time the Celtics were all about winning, for 20 years they’ve been a joke…clearly Celtic fans don’t know how to win…or how to respond to winning…

    B) These particular bloggers are as dense as a fat chick’s ass after eating cheescake…ask BigMck about that image…
    clearly, regardless of the facts or how eloquently you pose your argument, you won’t be heard…they will twist, warp and manipulate your words to benefit them…

    C) Finally…these people are simply not honest…even if they see your point, if it is in direct conflict with what their “perception” is, they won’t admit to anything…

    ANYONE…Laker fan or Celtic fan watching the game saw a clear and disturbing difference in the way the game was called…your observation was correct regarding the 16-3 shooting foul v. the meaningless 28-21 (which by the way is still considerable, but for this discussion-meaningless)…shooting fouls (or fouls called while in the shooting act) were simply not called against the C’s for over three periods…awful officiating…

    Radman did travel though…as a winner and a Laker fan…I have no trouble admitting a shortcomiong…

  62. [...] Game 2, with Lakers fans rising up in a protest, Celtics’ blog Red’s Army had the following to say: The Lakers committed 28 personal fouls. The Celtics: [...]

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