The Lakers’ Frustration Grows After Narrow Loss to the Heat
Updated: November 8, 2023 – 12:50 CET
The Los Angeles Lakers’ recent close defeat against the Miami Heat, with a final score of 108-107, has left the team and especially LeBron James feeling increasingly frustrated. According to ESPN, the Lakers organization, currently holding a 3-4 record, has expressed their concerns to the NBA regarding what they perceive as numerous fouls committed by Miami players that went unpunished. Several incidents involving LeBron James have been at the center of this protest.
One particular incident that caused an uproar was when LeBron attempted to score and Thomas Bryant struck him in the face with his arm. Surprisingly, no foul was called. “What they are telling me does not align with what is happening on the court. When I tried to dunk on Thomas Bryant, he elbowed me. I asked for an explanation, and one of the referees claimed that the defender had his hands up. Two other referees said they were obstructed and did not see it,” lamented the forward.
The issue at hand is that LeBron James is currently averaging only 5.7 free throws per game, which is the lowest in his career. Considering his aggressive style of play and his tendency to attack the rim, it is expected that he would draw more fouls and have more opportunities at the free-throw line. “I only go to the line three or four times a game, sometimes even less, which is unusual. Surely, we had some difficult calls that did not go in our favor tonight,” he commented after the loss in Miami.
Clear Fouls Being Overlooked
Coach Darwin Ham expressed his surprise at the situation, stating, “I am astonished to see LeBron shooting only four free throws given the number of times he drives to the rim and the number of times he gets hit on the arm. It’s as clear as day.”
In its analysis of the last two minutes of the game, the NBA concluded that all the decisions made by the referees were correct. LeBron responded to this on social media, saying, “The game is not determined solely in the last two minutes! If you truly understand the game, you know that crucial moments occur throughout the first, second, and third quarters, as well as the first 10 minutes of the final quarter, which have a significant impact on the final result.” At almost 39 years old, LeBron James is currently averaging 25.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 35.7 minutes per game.