The Washington Wizards are currently dead last in the NBA at free-throw rate, which measures the number of free throws attempted per field goal attempt. In last night's game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Wizards shot just 11 freebies, compared to 33 for the Mavericks.
That made coach Randy Wittman very mad. Following last night's 107-101 loss, he finally sounded off about it. Via Jeff Caplan of NBA.com:
"For whatever reason, this team doesn't get any respect. We go to the rim and had 11 free throws. These young guys just have to make a name for themselves, and it's just baffling some of the things that are said to me by the refs for why they don't call it."
Wittman later said that "maybe we just have to send the game film every day to the league."
Does Wittman have a point? Foul-drawing is always one of the more difficult subjects because it is somewhat subjective. The game moves so fast, and even the best referees can struggle to catch up. What may seem like a foul isn't actually a foul by the letter of the law, or vice versa. So, I guess I can see where he's coming from, to some degree.
But realistically, how many additional free throws are we talking about? Off the top of my head, there were maybe 1-2 instances where the referees could have easily called a foul last night and didn't. I also can't remember too many times when it happened in previous games. Maybe I am forgetting some plays, but I doubt that those plays make up a significant enough number to raise the Wizards' average free-throw attempts that much higher.
The real issue: the Wizards don't drive to the basket. Complaining about a lack of respect doesn't solve that problem.