Do Refs Disrespect Mavericks?

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban blasted the officiating crew after Wednesdays loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Look, I haven't said a whole lot about the officiating in a long, long time, but I haven't seen it this bad in a long, long time. [...] These were officials that have been part of the league for years, and it was just off-the-charts bad. And, if no one ever says anything, nothing ever happens.

For good reason? I think it's quite obvious that this particular game was one of the worse officiated this season, but Coach Carlisle has been (intentionally) ejected twice already this season, because he thought he had to sent a message to the officiating crews. So are the Mavericks generally disrespected by the referees?

It's hard to measure whether some teams get more calls than others. You basically have to go through all the games and review all calls. Because nobody has time doing this we have to interpret the numbers we have. The overall assumption is that teams that average more field goal attempts at the rim / in the paint should generally shoot more free throws because their aggressiveness towards the rim will eventually get rewarded with shots at the line. Another approach is to look on how many free throws a team gets out of opponent fouls.

Dallas ranks 23rd in Field Goal Attempts at the Rim per 100 Possessions (20.34) and 19th in Field Goal Attempts in the Paint (38.94). Opponents foul them 20.30 times per 100 Possessions and the Mavs end up shooting 24.22 FTA per 100 Possessions. This leads to 0.62 FTA per FGA in the paint (14th in the league), 1.19 FTA per FGA at the rim (11th) and 1.19 FTA per foul of the opponent (7th).

So here's nothing to complain about. The Mavs convert a decent amount of their field goal attempts in the paint or at the rim into FTA and opponent fouls also transfer into a good bunch of tries at the line.

The real issue starts when looking up the opponents numbers. Opponents attempt less field goals in the paint (37.42), the exact same amount at the rim (20.34) and Dallas fouls a tad more (21.58). Opponents end up with more FTA per 100 Possession (26.78) than the Mavs. This ranks the Mavs 3rd in oFTA per oFGA in the Paint, 4th in oFTA per oFGA at the Rim and 3rd in oFTA per Dallas foul.

This is somewhat alarming, because Dallas is actually a good team avoiding fouls, the 21.58 per 100 rank them 13th in the league, but are one of the worst teams in giving up free throws per foul and per shot attempt at the rim / in the paint.

OK, now here's the deal: Could it mean that referees do call more weak stuff, ticky-tacks at the expense of the Mavs? Sure. But could it also mean that the Mavs simply do foul on every available drive attempt to the rim in order to let players earn their points at the line? Sure!

Either way, the Mavs better fix the issue in order to win games and in order to avoid future fines for their owner and coach.

After the jump you'll find the data I used for this research.

Rank Team FGA Paint FGA Rim oPF FTA FTA/FGA_P FTA/FGA_R FTA/oPF
1 ATL 38.35 24.50 21.41 24.55 0.64 1.00 1.15
2 BOS 36.73 22.18 22.29 23.14 0.63 1.04 1.04
3 CHA 38.38 22.90 20.88 21.39 0.56 0.93 1.02
4 CHI 41.63 24.46 20.00 24.69 0.59 1.01 1.23
5 CLE 44.84 26.73 22.91 26.41 0.59 0.99 1.15
6 DAL 38.94 20.34 20.30 24.22 0.62 1.19 1.19
7 DEN 45.87 31.23 24.54 29.33 0.64 0.94 1.19
8 DET 44.54 26.77 21.18 22.93 0.51 0.86 1.08
9 GSW 38.97 21.66 18.95 21.94 0.56 1.01 1.16
10 HOU 42.62 21.72 18.31 20.02 0.47 0.92 1.09
11 IND 44.82 21.46 23.16 27.56 0.61 1.28 1.19
12 LAC 36.98 20.30 25.06 28.78 0.78 1.42 1.15
13 LAL 39.36 17.56 22.46 25.43 0.65 1.45 1.13
14 MEM 46.10 25.10 21.61 24.69 0.54 0.98 1.14
15 MIA 38.92 24.27 23.51 28.68 0.74 1.18 1.22
16 MIL 41.14 23.41 20.88 21.09 0.51 0.90 1.01
17 MIN 39.81 24.83 23.95 28.83 0.72 1.16 1.20
18 NJN 32.83 18.10 22.95 23.97 0.73 1.32 1.04
19 NOH 41.22 17.52 20.69 22.68 0.55 1.29 1.10
20 NYK 35.81 22.42 23.12 26.59 0.74 1.19 1.15
21 OKC 39.17 22.71 22.04 29.30 0.75 1.29 1.33
22 ORL 37.86 22.22 24.65 29.00 0.77 1.31 1.18
23 PHI 37.89 16.65 19.10 21.24 0.56 1.28 1.11
24 PHX 35.54 19.38 21.65 21.40 0.60 1.10 0.99
25 POR 41.02 26.43 22.89 25.22 0.61 0.95 1.10
26 SAC 45.61 23.44 22.83 26.81 0.59 1.14 1.17
27 SAS 41.86 21.36 20.32 21.50 0.51 1.01 1.06
28 TOR 34.81 19.50 20.27 22.97 0.66 1.18 1.13
29 UTA 45.71 22.97 23.72 29.40 0.64 1.28 1.24
30 WAS 44.52 26.51 19.23 21.98 0.49 0.83 1.14

Rank Team oFGA Paint oFGA Rim PF oFTA oFTA/oFGA_P oFTA/oFGA_R oFTA/PF
1 ATL 40.71 25.39 19.15 21.31 0.52 0.84 1.11
2 BOS 42.85 24.59 23.31 25.72 0.60 1.05 1.10
3 CHA 47.25 30.31 20.97 24.77 0.52 0.82 1.18
4 CHI 43.03 24.09 19.26 21.40 0.50 0.89 1.11
5 CLE 38.16 23.66 22.31 22.80 0.60 0.96 1.02
6 DAL 37.42 20.34 21.58 26.78 0.72 1.32 1.24
7 DEN 38.94 22.79 18.93 20.49 0.53 0.90 1.08
8 DET 36.81 24.16 21.65 25.06 0.68 1.04 1.16
9 GSW 40.27 22.62 25.72 31.02 0.77 1.37 1.21
10 HOU 46.03 24.40 22.02 22.45 0.49 0.92 1.02
11 IND 40.74 23.58 22.96 25.75 0.63 1.09 1.12
12 LAC 41.05 20.47 23.16 29.30 0.71 1.43 1.27
13 LAL 42.44 21.50 21.30 23.01 0.54 1.07 1.08
14 MEM 38.45 23.61 21.30 25.92 0.67 1.10 1.22
15 MIA 37.35 22.47 22.09 25.60 0.69 1.14 1.16
16 MIL 39.65 23.72 22.22 27.74 0.70 1.17 1.25
17 MIN 39.32 21.07 21.17 24.20 0.62 1.15 1.14
18 NJN 39.82 22.95 22.41 26.81 0.67 1.17 1.20
19 NOH 38.21 20.02 23.40 26.26 0.69 1.31 1.12
20 NYK 39.28 22.07 23.57 26.18 0.67 1.19 1.11
21 OKC 44.29 24.29 22.04 25.42 0.57 1.05 1.15
22 ORL 36.49 18.22 20.30 22.22 0.61 1.22 1.09
23 PHI 40.86 19.31 19.15 21.34 0.52 1.11 1.11
24 PHX 40.15 19.79 21.14 23.93 0.60 1.21 1.13
25 POR 39.57 24.59 21.92 25.89 0.65 1.05 1.18
26 SAC 45.71 25.23 20.73 23.54 0.51 0.93 1.14
27 SAS 38.23 20.84 18.43 19.51 0.51 0.94 1.06
28 TOR 37.94 21.04 26.63 29.52 0.78 1.40 1.11
29 UTA 42.42 19.83 23.83 25.94 0.61 1.31 1.09
30 WAS 38.62 21.63 23.15 26.82 0.69 1.24 1.16
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