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Wall Street Journal Analyzes Lakers and Celtics Whining Tendencies

The Wall Street Journal has conducted an interesting little study that examines the amount of belly-aching the players have done in the 2010 NBA Finals.  Some of the numbers are actually pretty surprising.  Maybe it’s just because Celtics-Lakers is such a heated rivalry, but there seems to be more complaining about officiating in these NBA Finals than there has been in the past.  I know, NBA officials take a ton of heat now — especially in the post-Donaghy era — but this year it has been noticeably bad.

The fact that Boston has two players (Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace) that are one technical away from a suspension has to say something.  What it probably says is that the Celtics cry to the officials more than your usual team, and that is indeed what the Wall Street Journal found.  Check out “The Whining Index” that they came up with by studying the first five games of the NBA Finals:

The team rates aren’t really that shocking.  The Celtics are know for being a big-mouth team.  What is somewhat surprising is that Kendrick Perkins has complained 68% of the time and has yet to have been issued a technical foul in the series.  That’s probably due in part to the fact that the officials know he was undeserving of a couple he has already received in the postseason.  The most surprising stat, in my opinion, is Ray Allen’s 73%, as he’s known for being one of the more level-headed and classy players in the league.  However, it can probably be explained by the fact that he’s covering the best player in the NBA — a person who tends to be favored by the refs at times, to say the least.  Allen has been whistled for some terrible fouls this series and video evidence will prove that.

After seeing these numbers (yes, I’m aware they’re nothing official) I’d venture to say Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace have almost benefited from having to play with six technical fouls a piece.  That’s especially true for Perkins, who has certainly toned down some of his dramatic reactions to foul calls, but as the Wall Street Journal pointed out he’s still done a fair share of pissing and moaning.  I can tell you one thing for sure; don’t expect the team totals to show any type of swing now as the series heads back to the Staples Center with the home team in a must-win situation.

Sources:
The NBA Finals of Complaining [Wall Street Journal]
SbB Live



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  • http://www.drumsondemand.com Drums on Demand

    Thanks for the post, but I want to know how they came up with these numbers. Derek Fisher at 38%??? I don’t think he’s ever not complained about a foul in his life. He isn’t always as dramatic as Perkins or Wallace, but he seems utterly shocked every time the refs blow their whistle on him.

  • Steve DelVecchio

    Good question, Drums. It’s pretty unofficial stuff and I think the Journal was just trying to have fun with it more than anything. But here’s how they say they came up with the system:

    “We looked at every foul in the series that wasn’t intentional, tracked the observable reactions and gave extra weight to the more blatant complaints.”

    So that pretty much supports your point about Fisher. You’re right, he has a subtle way of expressing discontent with a call. That “extra weight” they’re talking about probably resulted in his percentage ending up a little low.