You can’t come to any other conclusion, if you look at the facts. I’ve supplied some video evidence to that end. But some folks still insist on claiming that “there were probably just as many bad calls against the Heat.”
That’s possible. But I don’t care to look it up, because I don’t have to. I can just look at the stats to see how lopsided it was, and see that the video evidence supports the stats, which supports my conclusion: Wade was treated differently in this series. It may tick you off to hear this, but it’s clearly the factual truth.
The best analysis of these facts is this from another blogger, named Will Davis, who has done some analysis of the playoffs, and free throw attempts.
First, Davis, like me, gives a disclaimer:
“I’m trying not to give-in to the conspiracy theory, and I won’t. It wasn’t rigged. Dallas would have won last night if they hadn’t shot under 40% from the field. But I’m absolutely certain Miami would not have been close if they didn’t get so much help.”
Then, he delves right in to the facts:
“I’ve tracked down how many times Dwyane Wade went to the free throw line (attempts) and compared them to his season average and his average throughout the playoffs. I didn’t include total team personal fouls because Miami didn’t have much of a team. They had one guy that they relied on for everything, and that was Wade. Plus the whole Hack-a-Shaq strategy screws up overall personal foul numbers.
I compared Wade’s numbers to Dirk’s numbers. Dirk had a terrible series scoring-wise, but I wanted to show All-Star vs All-Star averages. It’s not that Wade got more attempts than Dirk, but the overall picture the simple comparison helps create. All numbers are rounded up.
Overall Average FTA (free throw attempts):
Dirk fta average for the season: 8
Wade fta average for the season: 11
Dirk fta average for the playoffs excluding the Finals: 10
Wade fta average for the playoffs excluding the Finals: 9
Dirk fta average for the Finals: 9
Wade fta average for the Finales: 16 (an increase of 145%)
Total FTA for Playoffs (number of games in the series):
Dirk fta vs Memphis: 38 (4) San Antonio: 80 (7) Phoenix: 56 (6) Miami: 55 (6)
Wade fta vs Chicago: 48 (6) New Jersey: 53 (5) Detroit: 52 (6) Dallas: 97 (6) (+180%)
FTA per Finals Game:
Dirk: 6, 11, 12, 13, 5, and 8.
Wade: 10, 14, 18, 9, 25, and 21. (game 6 was a 200% increase in attempts from the season average, game 5 was +225%)
I think another big stat for key games 5 and 6 is where overall points were coming from. For game 6 44% of Wade’s points came from free throws; game 5 it was 49%. That’s almost 50% of your points for two games coming from officials (Wade also had 48% of points coming from the line in game 2, which Miami lost). Of course he had to make them, which he did and stands as a testament to his abilities… as a free throw shooter. Michael Jordan didn’t need 50% of his points to come from the line, neither did Magic nor Bird.
Nor was wondering what the differece looked like between the previous series up to game 2, then from game 3 to game 6. Wade averaged 9.5 fta from the Eastern Conference Finals to game 2 of the Finals. Wade then averaged 18.25 fta for games 3 thru 6, an increase of 192%.
Wade took 28 shots from the floor in game 5, and took 25 free throw attempts. In game 6 Wade took 18 shot attempts from the floor, and 21 from the line. Game 5’s fta for Wade matched the number of fta for the entire Dallas team.
Bob and Dan mentioned my blog around lunchtime yesterday. They don’t really agree with me, because they’re still pretty happy with how the season turned out. And I am too. Really. I swear. And they even said that maybe next week, they’d be willing to look at these issues more.
But then, Bob mentioned one more stat that caught my eye, along the lines of what Davis says here:
Wade had TWENTY MORE TOTAL FTAs in this series than Michael Jordan ever had in any championship series he played in.
Still think the video evidence is bogus?
It only points to the deeper reality supported by the stats:
Wade was treated differently.
And that made a huge difference in the series.