According to sources, the Los Angeles Lakers reached out to the NBA league office on Tuesday to express their concern about the numerous missed foul calls they experienced in Monday’s game against the Miami Heat, which they lost 108-107. The Lakers are particularly unhappy with the officiating of LeBron James and have submitted footage to support their claim that the Heat defenders made illegal contact with him, which went unnoticed by the referees.
During his recent game against Miami, James made four free throw attempts, causing his season average to decrease to 5.7 attempts. This average is concerning because it would match his lowest single-season career average if it continues. According to Second Spectrum data, James has only been fouled on 6% of his drives this season, putting him at the eighth-lowest rate among the 34 players who have recorded 70 or more drives in the current season.
James was not pleased with the officiating crew’s explanation of the non-calls during Monday’s game. He aimed to increase his free throw total after the game. Among the missed calls, James mentioned Heat center Thomas Bryant making contact with his face when he failed a dunk attempt in the third quarter with only a minute remaining. Sources revealed that this particular clip was shared by the Lakers with the NBA.
James expressed his disagreement with the information he received from the referees, stating that their version of events did not match what had occurred on the basketball court. According to him, during the dunk attempt against Thomas Bryant, he was elbowed in the face. However, when he asked for an explanation, one referee claimed that Bryant had his arms straight up in the air, while two others said they were blocked and didn’t see the incident.
In the third quarter, Lakers coach Darvin Ham received his first technical foul of the season, which was only the third in his entire career. He was penalized for disputing the call that was not made against James. Ham expressed his frustration after the game, stating that he noticed James being fouled repeatedly while attacking the rim. He firmly believed that James wasn’t exaggerating or acting out, as the physical contact was evident to him.
According to sources, LeBron James has only been fouled 6% of the time while driving this season, which is one of the lowest rates among the 34 NBA players who have recorded 70 or more drives. The Lakers also noted a particular instance in the second quarter where it seemed like Duncan Robinson pushed James from behind while he was pushing the ball in transition, but no foul was called.
James expressed his frustration after the defeat that caused Los Angeles’ record to drop to 3-4 this season. He claimed that he was at a loss for words. Despite approaching his teammates politely and informing them about the plays, he only got to the line three or four times per game or sometimes not at all, which he found strange.
In three out of seven games this season, James only tried to score four or fewer free throws, and in their latest game in Miami, he only attempted four. Despite this, James remains optimistic and plans to keep driving and putting pressure on the rim. He also acknowledged some unlucky calls during the game that did not favor their team.