After Monday’s nail-biting loss to the Thunder, Jason Kidd felt it appropriate to voice his displeasure about the Mavericks not receiving the officiating advantage that defending champions are evidently entitled to. OKC received 23 more trips to the foul line than Dallas, including two from a questionable foul call that gave the Thunder the lead for good with 46 seconds left in the game. The imbalance prompted Kidd to complain after the game.
“We don’t get the benefit of the whistle,” Kidd said, according to ESPN Dallas. “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.”
Stats support Kidd’s remarks: the Mavs are 25th in the league in average free throw attempts per game. While that may be because of a lack of preference from officials, it’s probably also because of the Mavs’ style of play. As one of the oldest teams in the league, they don’t get to the basket as much as other teams and are 28th in the league when it comes to shots per game inside of five feet from the basket.
It is interesting that Kidd would suggest that there should be favoritism among officials, even though it’s hardly insider knowledge that NBA refs dole out “superstar” calls. And still, Kidd ought to know better. When it comes to this, who you are matters just as much as what you’ve done. So, while Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs are the defending champs, Kevin Durant the Thunder are also one of the league’s “glamour” teams this season, plus they were at home, where teams tend to receive an officiating edge.
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