Report debunks LeBron James’ claims that Lakers have been wronged by refs — actually, the opposite is true

Report debunks LeBron James’ claims that Lakers have been wronged by refs — actually, the opposite is true

The Los Angeles Lakers have been on the wrong end of some high-profile officiating mistakes lately. The most recent was LeBron James who was clearly fouled by Jayson Tatum in a game-winning layup attempt against the Boston Celtics on Saturday (which the latest two-minute report confirmed the next day), only for the referees to swallow their whistle and authorize the game. go to overtime, where the Lakers lost.

A few weeks earlier, James was burned by a no-call on another potentially game-winning layup attempt in a double-overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks; the final two-minute report confirmed that Christian Wood had indeed hacked LeBron with the score tied and the final seconds ticking away at the end of the first overtime.

That’s why LeBron was so livid after the missed call in Boston. He didn’t consider it an isolated case. He saw it, and surely continues to see it, as a pattern of the Lakers being disproportionately harmed by those late-game missed calls.

“It’s building,” James said of his frustration. “You’ve seen some of the games we’ve lost this year with missed calls late in the game. We had the opportunity to literally win the game. … I don’t understand what we’re doing. I watch basketball every I watch these games every day, and I don’t see it happening to anyone else. It’s just weird.”

This begs the question: is LeBron right? Are the Lakers getting burned more often than other teams? Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach decided to investigate James’ claims by digging into every last two-minute report released this season, and on Tuesday he released his findings.

Turns out LeBron is wrong.

According to Rohrbach’s report, the Lakers have been involved in 34 incorrect calls/non-calls in the final two minutes this season, and 21 of them have gone in their favor. That’s more than 28 other teams. Indeed, only the Mavericks have had more incorrect whistles overall, with 23.

Simply put, of the 34 late-game incorrect calls that impacted a Lakers game, 61.8% of them went to the Lakers. Only the Clippers, at 63.2%, had better late game luck.

Kudos to Rohrbach for doing the dirty work of digging into those reports. A lot of people, myself included, were starting to believe LeBron’s case when in fact we were obscured by the high profile ones that are the most recent in our memory.

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