HomeSportsBasketballNBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
ads banner
ads banner

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24

NBA Referees Whistles: A few weeks back, we disclosed which NBA players from the 2023–24 season had received the best whistles from referees thus far. This season, these ten gifted scorers are flourishing because they have perfected the art of slyly getting to the free-throw line. We chose a new strategy today. We’ll look at 10 NBA players who are scoring well this season despite receiving harsh calls from referees and making fewer trips to the free throw line below.

Even though they were handed a disadvantage in terms of total foul shots and foul shots per game, these 10 offensive players have managed to dominate the game. We will examine these scorers to see how they are managing to complete their tasks without any special treatment from the officials. That is the reason it is even more amazing what these athletes are accomplishing this season.

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24

Check out the NBA players who are affected by referees whistles in 2023-24:

1. Donovan Mitchell

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Skysports.com

Donovan Mitchell, who averages 28.2 points per game on 47.5% shooting from the field and 36.1% shooting from three, is going to play in his fifth consecutive All-Star Game in 2023–2024. Mitchell is scoring at a rate that is almost career-high while only trying 5.8 free throws per game. With 243 free throw attempts in 42 games played, he is ranked 33rd in the NBA.

Even though Mitchell visits the foul line fewer than three times per game in 2023–24, he still ranks fifth in scoring. He’s been able to develop a fluid outside game and become a dominant three-point and mid-range shooter thanks to his less aggressive style than in previous seasons. In addition, he is making a career-high 73.3% of his shot attempts at the rim, where he gets 22.0% of his total baskets.

It says volumes about Mitchell’s skill as a scorer this season that he is among the NBA’s top five scorers when it comes to free throw percentage. The Cavaliers, who are second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 35-17 overall and 17-2 in their past 19 games, have undoubtedly benefited from it.

You might also be interested in reading this: Comparison of Celtics vs. Knicks after 2024 Trade Deadline

2. Nikola Jokic

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: skysports.com

You would assume that a two-time MVP and current Finals MVP would be earning more than 5.7 free throw attempts per game out of all the players on this list. Nikola Jokic’s low free throw stats are even more impressive considering that he plays centre and spends a good deal of time in the paint.

While ranking in the top 20 in the NBA thus far in 2023–24, Nikola Jokic’s 5.7 attempts per game and 293 total free throws are pitiful when compared to other elite NBA big men like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now, you might argue that Jokic’s poor free throw percentage is due to his playmaking in the high post and on the perimeter. Do you mean to tell me that you haven’t noticed the appearance of his arms? He recently got into a regular altercation with Freddy Krueger.

Despite his ability to penetrate defences from beyond the court, Jokic still makes over 25% of his shot attempts from three feet or less from the hoop. Nevertheless, since his MVP season in 2021, he has spent the least amount of time at the free-throw line.

3. LeBron James

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: hdwallpaper.nu

The idea of LeBron James being included in the group of players who do not receive a favourable call from officials in 2023–2024 would make some NBA fans giggle, but the statistics speak for themselves. James has made less than 200 free throw attempts in 48 games this season and is seeing less than three trips to the free throw line.

Since he can easily go through opponents and contact thanks to his large, athletic physique, James’ aggressive and downhill approach has always been spoken about. Over the years, referees have become much too comfortable not awarding him for making valid contact on shot attempts because he has occasionally made it appear so simple.

In 2023–2024, nothing has changed. James has not benefited most from the calls, even though the Lakers have been rewarded with more trips to the foul line than any other team this season. Only two games have teammate Anthony Davis been played in, despite having 71 more opportunities to shoot free throws.

4. Stephen Curry

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: mx.nba.com

Now, I know very well that playstyle has a significant role in why players are able to reach the foul line more frequently. A player whose game revolves around the three-point shot, like Stephen Curry, is not going to receive as many calls as one who plays like Giannis Antetokounmpo. Even for a three-point shooter, receiving less than 5.5 free throw attempts a game is absurd.

Curry’s 227 made free throws this season put him 20th in the NBA, but his 245 attempts rank him 32nd, behind players like Jimmy Butler, Alperen Sengun, and Jalen Brunson. Curry doesn’t hesitate to assault the paint, as seen by the fact that 24.7% of his shot attempts originate from a spot 10 feet or less from the basket.

Since making his debut in the 2010s, Curry’s officiating style has been consistent with how things have gone for him. In spite of the negative call in 2023–24, he is sixth in the NBA with 28.1 points per game, demonstrating once more why he is regarded as the best three-point shooter in NBA history.

5. Lauri Markkanen

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Skysports.com

Lauri Markkanen has developed into one of the NBA’s top offensive players since the 2022–2023 season began. Markkanen, who stands seven feet tall, is a genuine three-level scoring danger because of his variety of movements that offer up scoring possibilities around the floor. However, getting him to the free-throw line is one area where it hasn’t really helped.

Lauri Markkanen, who shoots 50/40/88 and averages 23.7 points per game, is now among the NBA’s top 20 scorers. Markkanen has played 43 games and has 210 free throw attempts, ranking 41st in the NBA despite his steadily improving offensive game. Simply said, he makes over 41.0% of his field goal tries from within 10 feet of the hoop, thus it doesn’t make sense for him to try 5.0 free throws on average.

6. Domantas Sabonis

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Sportingnews.com

Our list includes yet another large man who works in the paint industry. In addition to not being selected as an All-Star this season, Sacramento Kings NBA player Domantas Sabonis is now at a further disadvantage due to unfavourable whistles from referees.

Sabonis is averaging 19.9 points per game in 2023–24, and 47.9% of his shot attempts are making it within three feet of the hoop. Sabonis is being sent to the foul line at the second-lowest rate of his career, and at the lowest rate since 2020 with the Pacers, despite his aggressive style and tries at the rim.

Naturally, when Sabonis and guard De’Aaron Fox operate in the pick-and-roll, Sabonis is at his most lethal. What is preventing him from producing even greater offensive statistics out of those formations is the fact that he is only being sent to the line 4.9 times per game.

7. Karl-Anthony Towns

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Edition.cnn.com

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves is fouling out 4.7 times per game, a career low, for the second consecutive season. Many would point out that since Rudy Gobert joined the team prior to the 2018 campaign, Towns has been utilised more as a power forward; yet, there are other, more troubling trends at play.

With 22.6 points per game, Towns now sits 22nd in the NBA. Nevertheless, with 135 free throw attempts in 29 games, he is ranked 151st in the NBA and 35th in terms of attempts per game. There will be more calls than that, even for someone who is seven feet tall and has shot a lot more from the outside.

Towns are still trying 55.0% of his attempts from inside 10 feet and 24.7% of his shots from within three feet, even if you want to blame his shooting on the fact that he is not getting the bulk of his calls. Towns is a big-time rim-runner who ought to be reaching the line considerably more frequently than 4.7 times every game.

8. Kawhi Leonard

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: 680news.com

If it were any other season, I could blame Kawhi Leonard’s low free-throw attempt rating in the NBA on injuries or poor load management. That will not be the case in 2023–24, as Leonard is playing with the best health of his career and leading the Clippers with an MVP-caliber season that includes 24.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game on average.

Leonard is achieving this while averaging just 4.3 free throw attempts per game, which is his lowest since joining the Spurs in 2018. With 279 total free throw attempts this season, Leonard is ranked 54th in the NBA. This is true even though he only made 36.1% of his shots from a distance of 10 feet or less. Although Leonard has never been one to express emotion on the court, perhaps he needs to start doing so in order to receive more calls.

9. Jaylen Brown

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Skysports.com

In the midst of yet another All-Star campaign (2023–24), Jaylen Brown is scoring 22.0 points per contest on 49.5% shooting. Brown is putting up extremely efficient scoring totals while only getting to the free-throw line twice a game, which makes his productivity even more remarkable. With 49 games played and 203 free throw attempts, Brown ranks 44th overall with 4.1 attempts per game.

In addition, Brown is attacking the rim more frequently than he did in previous seasons, making 22.2% of his shots at the rim and 47.1% of them from within ten feet. Brown is also making 75.0% of his shots at the rim in 2023–24, which is his second-best finishing percentage in a season. In light of these statistics, it is nearly incomprehensible that Brown, a 71.9% shooter, is not receiving more calls that send him to the foul line.

10. Paul George

NBA Players Most Affected by Referees Whistles in 2023-24
Source: Popslider.com

Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers is the last player of All-Star calibre to be dismissed thus far in 2023–24. Now, George has never been one to abuse his ability to read defences, but he has been able to exploit his deceit and shiftiness as a shot creator to get to the foul line rather frequently.

Things have changed in the 2023–24 season. With the Indiana Pacers in 2015, George’s free throw attempts per game have been at their lowest point in ten years, at 3.6. Despite playing 48 games, he has only attempted 175 free throws, ranking 52nd in the league this season. This season, George is trying a career-high three this season, but he is still taking just over 27.0% of his jumpers from 10 feet or closer.

In actuality, George, who is averaging 22.4 points per game this season, could score up to 25.0 points per game or more if he were to receive his fair share of calls that aren’t going his way.

These are the NBA players most affected by referees whistles in 2023-24. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sports Headlines

LATEST NEWS