The Dallas Mavericks Quarrel With The Refs Again, Updated Free Throw Numbers Agree?

Ian Mahinmi can't believe the calls, me neither.

Last nights game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was yet another "feel-good-about-it" loss to a decent team: Dallas was again missing key rotation players in Delonte West, Brendan Haywood and Brandan Wright, but were able to take it down to the last shot and again Rick Carlisle and the players expressed frustration with late game calls, especially Ian Mahinmi's 6th foul against Serge Ibaka with 45 seconds remaining in the game and the Mavericks up 91-90. It appeared that the Frenchman got all ball in an attempt to block the shot after an offensive rebound. The next possession down the court, Dirk Nowitzki got hacked, but no whistles were blown. Another obviously wrong call happened in the 4th quarter when James Harden drove hard to the basket, got fouled, but Sean Williams flew in and blocked the shot to prevent the And1 opportunity, only to see that the referees called goaltending when the ball still was clearly on the rise. Said Jason Kidd after the game:

"We don't get the benefit of the whistle," Kidd said. "I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk (Nowitzki) should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But, he doesn't."

I already tried to approach the issue in this piece and updated the numbers today to give you a fresh look. Please go back to that piece in order to get an explanation of my approach. I've added a ranking with the differences between opposing oFTA/oFGA_P (Free Throw Attempts per Shot Attempt in the Paint), oFTA/oFGA_R (Free Throw Attempts per Shot Attempt at the Rim), oFTA/PF (Free Throw Attempts per Foul Call) and the teams FTA/FGA_P, FTA/FGA_R, FTA/oPF, which should point out the teams that get a lot more FT attempts off their shots at the rim, in the paint and foul calls.

Since the first time I calculated the numbers, the Mavs dropped in the rankings. They now rank 16th in FTA per FGA in the Paint (14th in February), 15th in FTA per FGA at the Rim (11th) and 20th in FTA per foul of the opponent (7th). That's some serious drop-off, especially in FTA/oPF.

On the other side of the floor the Mavericks gained a little bit of respect, now ranking 8th in oFTA per oFGA in the Paint (3rd), 8th in oFTA per oFGA at the Rim (4th) and 3rd in oFTA per Dallas foul (3rd - no change here). That's still not good, especially when you take into consideration, that, as you would expect, mostly lottery teams come up on top of this ranking.

Onto the differences: The Mavericks shoot 0.067 less FTs per FGA in the Paint than the opponents (23rd), 0.132 less FTs per FGA at the Rim (23rd) and 0.093 less FTs per foul (24th), making them indeed one of the more disrespected teams in the league. Meanwhile last nights opponent, the Thunder, rank 1st in every difference ranking. So what can you expect going against the most loved team by officials on their home floor? Maybe exactly what happened last night, a ton of bad calls and bailouts.

As I've pointed out in February, there are other explanations for these numbers, mainly that Dallas fouls every available drive attempt to let players earn the points at the line. But the big discrepancy in own free throw attempts and opposing attempts in relation to shot attempts at the rim, in the paint and fouls remains a concern.

After the jump you'll find the numbers I've used for the research. Have fun with it!

Rank Team FGA Paint FGA Rim oPF FTA FTA/FGA_P FTA/FGA_R FTA/oPF
1 ATL 39.15 20.80 20.50 22.74 0.581 1.093 1.109
2 BOS 36.18 20.49 21.14 22.30 0.616 1.088 1.055
3 CHA 37.63 20.64 21.61 23.32 0.620 1.130 1.079
4 CHI 42.81 21.63 19.85 23.96 0.560 1.108 1.207
5 CLE 46.61 26.54 23.38 27.59 0.592 1.040 1.180
6 DAL 38.49 18.20 20.15 22.35 0.581 1.228 1.109
7 DEN 47.09 25.92 24.04 29.08 0.618 1.122 1.210
8 DET 46.44 26.83 22.08 25.24 0.543 0.941 1.143
9 GSW 38.59 17.66 19.17 21.91 0.568 1.241 1.143
10 HOU 41.69 17.77 19.64 21.03 0.504 1.183 1.071
11 IND 45.03 19.08 23.44 28.37 0.630 1.487 1.210
12 LAC 38.26 17.84 24.00 26.67 0.697 1.495 1.111
13 LAL 39.87 15.71 22.04 25.38 0.637 1.616 1.152
14 MEM 47.45 21.26 21.76 25.07 0.528 1.179 1.152
15 MIA 40.19 21.67 22.59 27.64 0.688 1.275 1.224
16 MIL 40.67 21.77 20.95 22.79 0.560 1.047 1.088
17 MIN 41.27 22.18 24.24 28.16 0.682 1.270 1.162
18 NJN 34.32 14.66 22.80 24.83 0.723 1.694 1.089
19 NOH 43.21 17.43 20.75 23.35 0.540 1.340 1.125
20 NYK 39.05 20.94 24.08 26.36 0.675 1.259 1.095
21 OKC 38.27 18.29 22.14 29.43 0.769 1.609 1.329
22 ORL 38.54 19.17 23.18 26.85 0.697 1.401 1.158
23 PHI 39.78 16.59 18.23 20.07 0.505 1.210 1.101
24 PHX 36.67 17.60 20.83 21.18 0.578 1.203 1.017
25 POR 40.21 22.87 22.52 24.00 0.597 1.049 1.066
26 SAC 48.11 21.64 21.72 25.47 0.529 1.177 1.173
27 SAS 41.81 17.15 20.98 23.16 0.554 1.350 1.104
28 TOR 37.43 17.08 20.23 23.40 0.625 1.370 1.157
29 UTA 48.08 19.87 22.70 27.12 0.564 1.365 1.195
30 WAS 43.49 21.10 20.15 23.94 0.550 1.135 1.188

Rank Team oFGA Paint oFGA Rim PF oFTA oFTA/oFGA_P oFTA/oFGA_R oFTA/PF
1 ATL 41.62 21.21 19.12 21.15 0.508 0.997 1.106
2 BOS 43.62 22.18 22.80 26.06 0.597 1.175 1.143
3 CHA 46.98 25.22 21.67 25.97 0.553 1.030 1.198
4 CHI 43.06 19.74 19.36 21.68 0.503 1.098 1.120
5 CLE 41.10 22.55 22.30 24.56 0.598 1.089 1.101
6 DAL 39.27 18.70 21.15 25.43 0.648 1.360 1.202
7 DEN 38.62 20.35 20.21 21.17 0.548 1.040 1.048
8 DET 38.57 23.91 21.70 25.74 0.667 1.077 1.186
9 GSW 42.47 21.17 24.10 29.83 0.702 1.409 1.238
10 HOU 44.81 20.66 21.91 22.90 0.511 1.108 1.045
11 IND 40.42 19.86 23.41 26.19 0.648 1.319 1.119
12 LAC 39.85 16.65 23.79 29.03 0.728 1.744 1.220
13 LAL 41.62 17.86 20.16 21.91 0.526 1.227 1.087
14 MEM 40.31 20.38 21.29 24.71 0.613 1.212 1.161
15 MIA 39.56 21.58 21.87 25.48 0.644 1.181 1.165
16 MIL 41.41 23.50 21.49 25.63 0.619 1.091 1.193
17 MIN 41.16 20.32 20.26 23.47 0.570 1.155 1.158
18 NJN 42.08 19.84 22.60 27.09 0.644 1.365 1.199
19 NOH 39.95 17.76 23.23 26.55 0.665 1.495 1.143
20 NYK 39.02 18.22 22.38 24.96 0.640 1.370 1.115
21 OKC 44.75 20.14 21.55 23.96 0.535 1.190 1.112
22 ORL 38.03 17.63 19.99 21.53 0.566 1.221 1.077
23 PHI 40.95 17.53 19.72 22.89 0.559 1.306 1.161
24 PHX 41.10 17.45 20.50 23.20 0.564 1.330 1.132
25 POR 40.82 23.25 21.85 25.28 0.619 1.087 1.157
26 SAC 43.56 20.69 20.94 23.46 0.539 1.134 1.120
27 SAS 39.30 18.00 18.73 20.22 0.515 1.123 1.080
28 TOR 39.03 17.37 26.22 29.80 0.764 1.716 1.137
29 UTA 43.05 16.52 24.08 27.71 0.644 1.677 1.151
30 WAS 41.63 21.15 23.40 27.13 0.652 1.283 1.159

Rank Team FTA/FGA_ Diff FTA/FGA_R Diff FTA/PF Diff
1 ATL 0.073 0.096 0.003
2 BOS 0.019 -0.087 -0.088
3 CHA 0.067 0.100 -0.119
4 CHI 0.057 0.010 0.087
5 CLE -0.006 -0.049 0.079
6 DAL -0.067 -0.132 -0.093
7 DEN 0.070 0.082 0.162
8 DET -0.124 -0.136 -0.043
9 GSW -0.134 -0.168 -0.095
10 HOU -0.007 0.075 0.026
11 IND -0.018 0.168 0.091
12 LAC -0.031 -0.249 -0.109
13 LAL 0.111 0.389 0.065
14 MEM -0.085 -0.033 -0.009
15 MIA 0.044 0.094 0.059
16 MIL -0.059 -0.044 -0.105
17 MIN 0.112 0.115 0.004
18 NJN 0.079 0.329 -0.110
19 NOH -0.125 -0.155 -0.018
20 NYK 0.035 -0.111 -0.020
21 OKC 0.234 0.419 0.217
22 ORL 0.131 0.180 0.081
23 PHI -0.054 -0.096 -0.060
24 PHX 0.014 -0.127 -0.115
25 POR -0.022 -0.038 -0.091
26 SAC -0.010 0.043 0.053
27 SAS 0.039 0.227 0.024
28 TOR -0.139 -0.346 0.020
29 UTA -0.080 -0.312 0.044
30 WAS -0.102 -0.148 0.029
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