The Lakers’ massive free throw advantage is finally getting attention it deserves

of Los Angeles Lakers Earn far more free throws than your opponent. This is a well-known fact to certain Internet-addicted NBA fans, dating back to last season when this trend emerged.monday vs houston rocketsthe Lakers’ own announcer mentioned it on the broadcast, and the clip quickly went viral.

Last season, in 2022-23, the Lakers attempted 2,182 free throws, the most in the NBA. The Lakers’ opponents shot 1,706 free throws, the fewest in the NBA. by Basketball Reference. This trend continues this year. The Lakers made 1,180 free throws (fourth-most in the NBA, but only seventh in free throws per game) and allowed 946 free throws, third-fewest in the NBA. , the second-lowest total per game.

The fact that the Lakers Ranks last in the NBA in drives per game. The drastic free throw discrepancy is even more questionable this year (last season’s Lakers). 8th fewest drives per game).

Here’s a video of Lakers announcer Bill McDonald reading statistics on the air.

Yes, it’s strange that the Lakers enjoy such a huge free throw advantage over their opponents. Last year, no team in the NBA had such a large difference in free throw attempts compared to their opponent’s free throw attempts, and that trend continues this season.

At the same time, driving the ball isn’t the only way to get closer to the basket or get free throws. This year’s Lakers still rank second in the NBA in rim frequency; By cleaning the glass, No.5 in rim accuracy. The Lakers rank fifth in post-up attempts; According to NBA.comand No. 3 possessions finished by roll man. These play types typically generate shots near the rim, making them more prone to foul calls. If you’re looking for a “superstar call-up,” having LeBron James on your team isn’t a bad thing either.

Our old friend Jackson Frank had a good thread about this on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The Lakers can get to the rim in many ways other than drives. That makes sense. How do the Lakers avoid fouls? Well, in return, they allow a ton of three-point shots.the lakers gave up 3rd highest number of 3-point shots made this year. But isn’t it still a little weird that they have a huge free throw advantage for the second year in a row? Yes, it is.

Conspiracy theorists will say the NBA wants the Lakers to succeed. The Lakers are by far the most popular team in the NBA, and have remained so for decades. From the 80’s to the 90’s he played basketball.His fans have a generation who still root for the team because they loved Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles is also clearly one of the largest markets in the country.

Lakers games typically receive much higher television ratings than other teams. This weekend’s Lakers vs. Warriors battle between two teams below .500 got a lot of attention on TV.

Just because the Lakers shot more free throws than them every night doesn’t mean the game is match-fixed against your favorite team. Steve Kerr’s recent criticism was off the mark in that regard.. Still, we’ve had a year and a half of evidence that this Lakers team is really good at getting to the foul line and really incredibly good at avoiding fouls. Maybe Darvin Ham isn’t such a bad head coach after all? Or maybe the Lakers really are getting some special favors from those involved.

Either way, the Lakers’ huge free throw advantage is now completely mainstream. They have their own announcers to thank.



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