Rick Carlisle Rips NBA Refs Over Lakers’ Free Throw Disparity

Rick Carlisle, Pacers, NBA
Mar 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle argues a foul call in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA referees have been under the microscope a lot during the 2023-24 regular season. There have been some egregious calls that have determined the outcome of games, while missed calls have caused the same level of frustration.

Just like in any job, mistakes are going to happen. There will always be some human error and players have gotten very good at deceiving the referees into believing they are seeing something to blow their whistle.

As long as games are called consistently throughout, players and coaches normally won’t have much to complain about. But, there are some teams and players who seemingly are refereed differently than their peers, which leads to some frustrations emerging.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Rick Carlisle, Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers Updates

The latest team to be on the receiving end of that was the Indiana Pacers. They faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and in the opinion of head coach Rick Carlisle, the playing field was not even.

He ripped apart the referees after the game. His biggest gripe was with the disparity in the number of fouls called for and against his team, which led to a massive difference in free throws attempted as well.

“There were certain things that were impossible to overcome,” Carlisle said. “The 27 free throw differential is one and the 17 foul differential is the other. And I’ll leave it at that.”

Disparities like that while playing against the Lakers is nothing new. They are lapping the field when it comes to the number of free throw attempts they have compared to their opponents, which has been a topic of discussion throughout the NBA season.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Rick Carlisle, Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers Updates

Los Angeles doesn’t do anything that would lead you to believe such a disparity should exist. They don’t live in the paint or around the basket as much as some other teams in the NBA and take a lot of jump shots.

Despite that, they are regularly attempting more free throws than their opponents. Carlisle and the Pacers aren’t the first team to have to deal with that and they certainly won’t be the last. But, it is something the NBA should look into and figure out how to reel back in because there are some players and teams who work hard to get to the foul line and don’t get the benefit of the whistle as the purple and gold does.

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