One of the most common and least logical talking points surrounding the Lakers-Warriors second round playoff series has been officiating. Without a hint of nuance, discussion or context, the free throw discrepancy between the two teams has been used to prop up flimsy, half-baked arguments suggesting the Warriors are some innocent victim to the league’s desire to have the Lakers succeed.
If you can’t tell, the narrative is pretty exhausting.
Making the argument all the more insane is that, at no point during this series, have the Warriors themselves expressed any sort of feeling of injustice. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to do the opposite, including head coach Steve Kerr.
On Sunday following the Warriors’ Game 3 loss, Kerr was asked about the officiating and made a point to note it did not cost the team the game.
“We didn’t lose the game because of the officials so there’s no point in whining about anything. There were definitely calls we didn’t like but every game every coach can say that. This is not about anything other than our performance.”— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 7, 2023
Steve Kerr keeping it on officiating. pic.twitter.com/PvT7WRGbjl
There are a ton of logical arguments to make surrounding why the officiating has skewed the way it has. Many of them have been made, and this blog is going to be speaking to the choir.
But the fact a team led by Draymond Green, known for both having a podcast and speaking his mind, has not made one stink about officiating should say plenty. The Warriors know they are a team that plays lazy defense and fouls too much, while relying on 3-pointers and jump-shooting for their offense. The Lakers are a team specifically designed to take advantage of those flaws.
The result is an expected one, by the Lakers, by the Warriors and by the numbers. No one in the series is pretending this is unexpected or egregious, so it’s time fans found a new slant.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.