Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Tuesday, May 27, the morning after Paul George decried the free-throw differential in the Indiana Pacers’ loss to the Miami Heat.
George pinned the Pacers’ 102-90 loss on the officiating, citing the fact the Heat shot 17 more free throws and were called for 10 fewer fouls.
“It’s just demoralizing when [the free throws are] lopsided,” George said. “I mean, I’m sorry to say, but that was the case. How rare is it we shoot 50 percent, turn the ball over around 13 or so times, outrebound a team and lose a ballgame? I thought we did a great job. I just thought we did a great job. … But, again, they made 30 free throws and that put them over the edge.”
George is right—Miami was 30-for-34 from the foul line and Indiana hit 11-of-17.
He’s also right—the Pacers turned the ball over 14 times.
But here’s the thing: The Heat turned it over only seven times. The differential for points off turnovers was 20 for the Heat and six for the Pacers.
That 14-point differential had nothing to do with a 12-point margin of defeat, Paul?
Then there’s also the point to be made about Game 1 of the series in Indianapolis, when the Pacers won 107-96.
Indiana was 29-for-37 from the foul line in that game. Miami was 10-for-15. That’s an even bigger differential than the one George was unhappy about in Game 4.
For the series, Indiana has attempted 94 free throws. Miami has taken 87. That’s after the Heat shot 17 more foul shots than the Pacers in Game 4.
I get it; George is frustrated. The Pacers didn’t play badly in Game 4 and yet they lost by double digits. Their backs are now pressed firmly against the wall as they return home—where they are just 5-6 in the postseason—facing an elimination game Wednesday night.
It’s not a fun time for Indiana, which is dealing with Roy Hibbert landing on the side of the milk carton again after an 0-for-4, zero-point, five-rebound performance in Game 4.
But blaming the officials when your team has the advantage in free-throw attempts in the series?
Not a superstar move, brah.
The Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association, along with a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager. Here are some highlights from Monday’s action: