The big story to Jazz fans and others was that Utah got the shaft from the refs in the fourth quarter. I didn’t have a problem with most of the fouls called on the Jazz, except for two. The first came when Vujacic tripped over the foul line with the ball and kicked it out of bounds. But AK was called for the foul by the ref who was on the other side of the court under the basket. How is that his call to make?
The second came when Odom blew by Boozer from 23 feet out and went in for the dunk. Boozer was so far away from Odom that he would have had to hit Lamar with a Mark Eaton size stick to get a foul. Yet Booze is give the phantom foul.
My biggest gripes were for the fouls that weren’t called. The first came when Pau plaued over Harpring on his way to a deuce. Harp was a good foot outside the restricted area and got a knee to the chest. How is that not a charge?
Kobe also got away with one when he spun into Brewer and sent him flying.
Another late no call came with Boozer going up for a shot for the lead got clobbered and nothing was called.
And of course you have the Gasol pushing Memo play with :20 left to get the offensive board and the dunk. Memo did do a bit of acting. But you know what, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Pau would have just gone over the back to get the ball. And is it really fair that Pau is 15 feet tall?
A lot of people talked about the Jazz not being able to get over the hump in their games at LA. In games 1 and 2, they closed to within four and just couldn’t get it done. In game 5, they tied but couldn’t ever take the lead in the fourth. Boozer was a big part of their loss, but the hump everyone is talking about is the group of three with whistles.
So getting to the point mentioned in the title of the post. First, I hate complaining about refs because that’s what almost every fan does when their team loses. And if you think I’m just crying, ask yourself this question (if you’ve watched the series), when have you seen a call in this series where you thought, "Man, the Lakers got screwed on that call" or "Man, I can’t believe the Jazz got away with that." I’d like to hear them if you got them because I don’t recall any such plays.
Now, let’s really get to the point. All the Lakers fans and other fans will say that we need to shut up because the Jazz get all the calls at home. And I’m here to say, no we don’t. Remember, the Jazz are still the most hacking team in the league. That doesn’t change at home. The Jazz and opponents both get 23 fouls called a game at the ESA. And the free throws are even as well at 27 apiece. And that despite the Jazz having the second most free throw attempts in the league. If you want to look at free throw disparity, check out LA’s home record. They average almost 5 free throws more a game at home than their opponent.
The Jazz do have a home court advantage, but it’s not because they get the calls. For whatever reason, they are more efficient at home offensively and that’s what gets it done.