By Joe Lucia, Awful Announcing
In an interview with DC area morning show the Sports Junkies, Thunder play by play announcer Matt Pinto was very displeased with the NBA's officials during the Finals.
“You got to remember, this team was number two in the NBA in free throws attempted during the regular season, number one in free throws made. In this series, the gap in foul shots attempted has grown from game to game,” Pinto said.
Pinto wasn't done, going off on how there doesn't seem to be many fouls called on Heat stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
“It is I’m sure, an internal ongoing growing frustration, but its one they know they can nothing about. And complaining about it publicly won’t change the fact that Wade and Lebron James get benefit of whistles and the game is officiated differently at one end of the floor than it is the other. It’s plain and very visible for the nation to see.”
Just by looking at the raw numbers, it looks like Pinto might be slightly justified in his complaints. Wade and James have combined for 20 fouls over the four games of the series, while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have combined for 24. If you include Mario Chalmers and James Harden on each side, the totals jump to 40 fouls for the Thunder and 31 for the Heat, or an average of two more fouls per game... not exactly chump change. There was also a key no-call on James guarding Durant at the end of Game 2 that caused an uproar.
At the same time, complaining about the officials favoring the Heat just seems like a tired talking point at this point in time. Although it's been a big topic this postseason, there are a dozen reasons ahead of the officiating as to why the Thunder trail Miami 3-1. If the Heat do win tonight, at least there will finally be a temporary reprieve from complaining about NBA officials.