You can thank the NBA’s Two Minute Reports for confirming what Toronto Raptors fans have known about for years. NBA refs really do screw over the boys from the North more.
Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight has run the numbers and the Raptors have been victimized by the referees 18 times in the last two minutes with the score within three points this season and that doesn’t count things like Jonas Valanciunas getting hit in the face on that game tying dunk on the Bucks that was later called incidental contact.
Of the teams in contention this season: Toronto (18 blown calls), Boston (17), Golden State (11), Houston (8) and (cough-cough) Cleveland (11), the Raptors are number one at getting screwed by the refs with the game on the line. The only solace might be the Celtics aren’t treated that much better, but being lumped in with the also-rans at the top of the disrespect chart isn’t anything to be happy about.
Apparently there is some justification to DeMar DeRozan’s frustration at not getting calls. He’s number five on the list identifying players who the referees choose to ignore when they’ve been fouled in crunch time.
Yes Toronto isn’t on the top of the bad calls list. That honor deservedly goes to Spencer Dinwiddie and the Nets, but that’s historically consistent. Really bad teams don’t get calls.
However, the Raptors (and even the Celtics) are the best in the East and in third and fourth overall respectively in the league. They deserve better and the four-time All-Star DeRozan shouldn’t have to be among the league leaders in getting no respect from the referees.