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Paul George on Heat’s free-throw advantage: ‘Maybe this was just home cooking’

May 27, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

Paul George Paul George

The Heat beat the Pacers in Game 4 last night for many reasons, but let’s start with one. Here are both teams’ marks from the free-throw line:

  • Pacers: 11-of-17
  • Heat: 30-of-34

An even free-throw disparity has absolutely nothing to do with whether a game is officiated well. Sometimes – quite often, probably – one team deserves more free throws than the other.

That was the case last night.

Just don’t tell that to Paul George, who made his case for a fine during his post-game press conference.

George, via ASAP Sports:

Looking at the stat sheet, we outplayed them.  You got to give them credit.  They won this game at the free‑throw line.  They really just were able to get to the line more than we were, but I thought we outplayed them tonight.

This one‑‑ I thought we did a great job.  I just thought we did a great job.  We rallied at the end to try to make a push.

But, again, they made 30 free throws, and that put them over the edge.

I mean, you can’t tell me we don’t attack the basket as much as they attack the basket.  You can’t tell me we’re not aggressive.  Maybe we’re too aggressive. But I feel like we’re just as aggressive as they are attacking the basket and making plays at the rim.  Maybe this was just home cooking.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were asked about George’s comments. As Wade gave a diplomatic answer about aggressiveness and having no control over the officials, LeBron studied the box score. When Wade finished, LeBron responded:

We did only have five turnovers, seven steals, and 20 points off their turnovers.  That has nothing to do with the free-throw line.

There’s no simpler way to put this: LeBron is right, and George is wrong.

The Pacers shot better from the field and 3-point range than Miami. They also out-rebounded and out-assisted Miami. If you didn’t watch the game, maybe you could convince yourself Indiana was the better team and just didn’t catch a break.

But the Heat dominated the game, and the final score — along with some stats that go with it — are misleading. Nearly halfway through the fourth quarter, Miami led by 23. At that point – with LeBron out for part of it and Chris Bosh out for all of it – Indiana went on a 13-1 run.

The Heat deserved their free throws – at least enough of them to get this win comfortably. And turnovers count. Miami forced seven live-ball turnovers to the Pacers’ one.

George, who led Indiana with five turnovers, can’t just attribute the problem to bad luck. The Pacers, George included, are a bad ball-handling and bad passing team.

Maybe that’s because they don’t believe protecting the ball is as much a part of basketball as making shots and grabbing rebounds. I guess that’s their prerogative, or at least George’s.

They can keep that belief, keep “outplaying” their opponent and keep losing.

  1. engh533 - May 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Why didn’t Paul George talk about the one sided free throw advantage that Indiana held in game one.Hmmm.. He conveniently left that out.Bottom line…Miami was more aggressive as a team and they played smarter something Indiana has yet to do since game 1.

    • bcwildcat24 - May 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      Because that would get in the way of his “the refs want the Heat to win” BS. Simply put, Indiana is not a very tough team right now. Doug Collins hit the nail right on the head when he said, “enough talking about how you’re right there with them and only a couple plays ago and start actually showing up to play.” George Hill is not playing that well in the series. Roy Hibbert had another disastrous game. And Stephenson is getting to the point where he’s making more headlines with his mouth than with his play. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Go Heat! Finish the big mouths off!

      • beach305 - May 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        The funny thing is that the Pacers have more FT’s than Miami this series.

      • bcwildcat24 - May 27, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        Exactly. Facts just get in the way to the Pacers.

  2. finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    You know, I do believe it’s a bad idea to whip Miami in game 1 of any series. That just makes them really mad.

    • zoomy123 - May 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      So true. IIRC in every series where Miami has lost game 1 of the series they’ve won and on at least three occasions the series finished 4-1.

  3. bougin89 - May 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Well the TO difference didn’t help you out either, George, and that’s not on the refs.

  4. all4patriots - May 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Turnover differential might have A LOT to do with officiating, if one team is being allowed to defend a totally different way than the other team is being allowed to defend. When one team can hand check on the perimeter on every play and the other one cannot, you will see an obvious difference in “aggressiveness”, most definitely.

    • finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      “Sorry coach for the 20 points off turnovers, the referee made me do it.” That’s dumb! No offense.

    • bougin89 - May 27, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      That was the case last night?

    • antistratfordian - May 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      It might. But in the same speculative way we can say that if the game was officiated more fairly the Heat should’ve taken 40 free throws and the Pacers only 13.

  5. marcusfitzhugh - May 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    I hate Pat the rat and Wade. That said, the way this series looks, Indiana could play Miami in a 9 game series with every game in Indiana and they’d still lose. They are simply being out played and more importantly, their coach hasn’t got a solution.

    • brookwell2013 - May 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Their coach doesn’t have the players to find a solution! How can you be over 7′ tall, play 36 minutes and get 2 rebounds??? Last night 22 minutes, 4 rebounds and 0 points. What the heck is Vogel supposed to do with that??

    • 1historian - May 27, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      The ‘solution’ is to have a guy on the Indiana team who can step up.

      And his name is ……..

  6. robigd - May 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Pacers are just over-matched. The “home cookin’” in the Spurs/OKC series is blatantly apparent though. OKC set a Historical NBA record for biggest free-throw discrepancy in the 3rd quarter.

  7. miamatt - May 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Each team had one home blowout with a wide free throw discrepancy. The difference is the two close games where Miami showed they can execute in pressure situations. Free throws alone don’t tell the story on officiating, but for what it is worth it is 88-87 Indiana on free throws for the series.

    The Pacers are simply not ready, and Paul George couldn’t sound more pathetic talking about how Indiana outplayed Miami. This was a a wire to wire win, and an outright blowout in the second half. LeBron’s response was perfect. The Heat played their game, end of story.

  8. shaab23 - May 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    David West looks unstoppable…for the first half!!! perhaps he should pace himself so he actually has something left in the tank late in the game…

  9. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Pacers didnt deserve to win but the home cooking has been there all series. Wade should be fined big time for the flop on Stehpensen when the Pacers went on a run in the 4th quarter last night. Its not enjoyable to watch this crap unless your team is the one getting the calls.

    • engh533 - May 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      I guess you didn’t read comment #5 from the top and you would know who got all the calls.All your pacers have been talking about is home court and the #1 seed…well I got news for you… They got both and hows that working out for them

  10. campcouch - May 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Same situation in Game 1. Indy had more FTs than Miami so yes,home cooking lol.

  11. bknowledge - May 27, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I haven’t watched this series…its boring…

    NBA should contract (I know they won’t ($$$$$)).

    There’s 10 good teams to watch and 9 of them are in the western conference (Indiana was a nice team to watch before the mid-season collapse…couple other eatern teams are fringe okay to watch).

    • 5xchamp24 - May 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Maybe, wherever you work, should contract, that way you’ll lose your job also. Its entertainment for you, but a job for NBA players, just dont watch

  12. davidly - May 27, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    I would think that if he were gonna allude to fouls steering outcomes, it’d be game 3 when he and Hill were parked on the bench because of it. Even the announcers thought one call on George was absurd and another questionable. Sometimes people get so hung up on discrepancies in numbers, when that has more to do with telling the story of the game flow. It’s the timing of the fouls that are able to change the course of the game.

    • beach305 - May 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      And the issue is with that is the Pacers come out and make stupid mistakes. The NBA game is more than being aggressive. Anyone can come out and play aggressive, it’s not making mental mistakes that what separates the champions from contenders. The Pacers lack majority. The problem with having a much of young team is that it’s void of any veteran leadership. When your leaders are PG, Hibbert and West, that is not good and Lance is a young Artest in the making.

      What the Pacers need is to trade Lance, for some veteran leadership.

  13. knickshater - May 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Pacers are becoming an unlikeable team.

  14. kghane - May 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Via SportsVU, the Pacers drove to the rim 11 times for 10 points. The Heat drove twice as much for 33 points. LeBron drove 10 times. Paul George drove 0. If that doesn’t explain the FT discrepancy then I don’t know what will.

    • all4patriots - May 27, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      It’s made up. Look at the play-by-play.

      PG had two driving dunks in the 2nd Q, a driving layup in the 4th Q, and was fouled on a drive in the 3rd Q

  15. gostlcards5 - May 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    The ref thing is BS. The only egregious call I saw was Wade’s flop on Lance’s drive late in the game (I do think he should be fined for that, same as Lance was for his “play dead” act”). The Pacers got thoroughly outplayed.

    I said early this season that the Pacers had to take care of the ball to be able to compete with the Heat. They haven’t, and combining that with the obvious immaturity, they really look like a hot mess now.

  16. bbk1000 - May 27, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    The NBA is fixed???? The refs control NBA games???? I just don’t believe it…

    Next I’ll hear the earth is round…there are strange flying objects in the air…..

    I don’t believe any of it…..

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