"Oh my God… the Celtics took 38 free throws to the Lakers 10. They got SCREWED!!!"
There you go. All the proof you need right there that the refs were in the Celtics pockets. How can you go to the line 28 more times than a team WITHOUT the refs in your pocket… right?
Unless there was a stat that might somehow, miraculously, more accurately reflect how many more fouls were called on the Lakers. Oh… if only a stat like that existed.
Oh wait… it does. Its called PERSONAL FOULS!! And what does that reveal?
The Lakers committed 28 personal fouls. The Celtics: 21.
So for all the hemming and hawing… for all the "Lakers got hosed by the refs" talk… the difference in the fouls was a mere 7. Single digits.
So what might account for the free throw disparity? Could it be the fact that the Celtics drove to the hoop a lot more? Could it be that Leon Powe was doing chin ups the whole game (or trying to) and getting whacked when he didn't actually get to the rim? The fouls called on the Lakers were shooting fouls… the fouls called on the C's were either offensive fouls… or reach-ins as the Lakers danced on the perimeter.
I know this isn't convenient to Phil Jackson… who has turned whining about calls into an art form. But the simple fact is that the foul disparity is nowhere near what many would like you to believe.