If you guys have been paying attention to the Celtics vs. Cavs series, you'll noticed that David Stern mentioned he wanted Lebron to stay in Cleveland. The only way to guarantee that is for Cleveland to win the championship this year, which David Stern has already begun planning:
The Cavs have gotten a total of 30 more free throws already in the Celtics-Cavs series. The free throw disparity was 31-21 in Game 1 and 38-18 in Game 2. Given that Rondo goes to the basket pretty frequently, this definitely is amiss. Could it be that the Cavs are better at getting to the line against the Celtics? No. In four regular season matchups, it was only 130-111, a disparity of only 19. I am not a Celtics apologist, nor do I have any interest in the Celtics doing well. But something is definitely amiss. A FT disparity of 19 through four regular season games (5 per game) vs. a disparity of 30 already in only two games (15 per game) in the playoffs definitely indicates something is going on here.
Perhaps David Stern is also trying to remove Cleveland's primary potential competition, namely the Lakers. The Oklahoma City Thunder shot 50 more free throws than the Lakers through six playoff games. There was no bigger disparity than in game 4 when the Thunder shot 20 more free throws. Now, I know what you're thinking. The Thunder generally get to the line more often than other teams. That line of reasoning would be true except that it doesn't hold against the Lakers. In the four regular season matchups, The Lakers actually took 28 more free throws than the Thunder. So it's not that the Thunder inherently are a team that gets to the line more frequently when playing the Lakers. How do you account for the Lakers taking 28 more FT in the regular season, then in the Playoffs suddenly are - 50 in FT differential? If you don't think this is suspicious, then I don't know what would convince you.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Statistically, the free throw disparity is more than significantly significant, given we have regular season data and playoff data between the two teams. You guys can decide for yourself what is going on here, I simply provide the cold facts.
[EDIT] A lot of you guys are commenting below and saying something along the lines of "yeah I agree there's a home vs. away FT disparity, etc. but the refs are human and they're swayed by home crowds". The point of the statistics I gave was to show that the FT disparity isn't coming from home vs. away crowds. If it were the case that it was simply home-cooking officiating, then we wouldn't see such a free throw disparity between regular season series and the playoff series, since LAL and OKC both played two home games against each other in the regular season and three home games against each other in the postseason. They had the same number of games at home for both the regular season and the postseason. What we're witnessing is a systematically different way of officiating the game between the two teams, once the playoffs arrive.
What do you think? Does David Stern's desire for Lebron to stay in Cleveland combined with the free throw huge lopsided free throw disparity in the OKC-LAL and Boston-Cleveland series indicate something is amiss?
Yes. David Stern is purposefully getting the officials to favor the Cavs (84 votes)
Yes. Something is definitely amiss, but I don't think Stern is actually instructing the officials how to referee the game. (66 votes)
No. The facts provided are not statistically significant for us to find anything amiss. (20 votes)
170 total votes