Devin Booker has accused the NBA of trying to ensure that the Lakers reach the playoffs this year.
The Lakers are in danger of missing the postseason again as they’re 10th in the Western Conference. But they have won their last two games, beating the Magic on Sunday before their 122-111 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Booker and the Suns have torn into the NBA on the back of the loss, lamenting over the lack of parity as it pertained to fouls and free throws. The guard also suggested there are “agendas being pushed” after the loss.
“After the game is controlled in the first half and we’re down 20 to 30 free-throws, it’s kind of easier for them to give us some after that,” he said. “I watch these games every night, so I kind of understand what’s going on. I understand the agendas that are being pushed and trying to just get that out of my head and go out there and compete.”
Phoenix head coach Monty Williams also vented over the loss, pointing to the fact that Los Angeles shot 46 free throws while his team got to shoot 20.
“I can sit here and rant and rave about what I feel like is not a fair whistle,” the coach remarked. “It’s just not. 46 free-throws. We’re attacking the rim. I’m getting explanations about we’re taking too many jump shots, midrange jump shots. We’re playing a physical game. They had 27 free throws in the first half. They end up with 46. When do you see a game with 46 free throws for one team?
“Like, that’s just not right. I don’t care how you slice it. It’s happening to us too much. Other teams are reaching, other teams are hitting and we’re not getting the same call and I’m tired of it.”
Chris Paul offered his two cents on the matter as well.
“We’ve been seeing some crazy stuff in different situations,” Paul pointed out. “I watch a lot of basketball and we’ve got a guy [Booker] who goes [to the rim] night in and night out and you don’t necessarily see the same [calls]. It’s crazy. Crazy how some of [the officials] too, you can’t even talk to them or approach them because that [communication] is horrible.”
The Suns are 28th in the league when it comes to free throw attempts, with 21.5 a game. The Lakers, on the other hand, are first, shooting an average of 26.6 per contest.
The playoffs would definitely attract fewer viewers if the Lakers don’t make it, so fans seem to be in agreement with Booker.
The Suns currently hold on to the fourth seed in the West but, with just 10 games remaining, another few losses could push them down to the play-in spots, something they’re very keen on avoiding.
It’s also worth noting that the Lakers went through a period earlier this season where they felt like they were robbed of results because of calls not going their way.
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