Refs Roasted Once Again After 42-15 Free Throw Disparity In Pelicans-Suns Game

The New Orleans Pelicans played another outstanding game behind emerging superstar Brandon Ingram, evening their series with the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns at two games apiece. But Suns coach Monty Williams wasn't going to stand by silently and ignore the lopsided 42-15 disparity in free throw attempts in favor of the Pels.

"You can slice it any way you want to," Williams said. "In a playoff game that physical, [that disparity] is amazing. Coaches shouldn't have to come up to the microphone and feel like they're going to get their heads cut off for speaking the truth. It was 17-2 in the first half, and they end up with 42. That's hard to do in a game like that... It's not like we don't attack the basket."

He admitted that the Pelicans did outplay and outhustle his team, but "that's a free throw disparity that you have to look at... That's hard to swallow."

The NBA handed out a number of fines today for other players and coaches around the league criticizing the officials during the first round of the playoffs—including Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies who called the refs "arrogant", and Joel Embiid for his sarcastic golf clap—but the issues with officials seem to be bordering on the absurd at this point. 

Bottom line for the Suns, however, is that they need to start knocking down shots—particularly threes—if they hope to come out of this series. They're shooting 29% from behind the arc through four games; Jae Crowder is 1-for-17. Cameron Payne 0-for-12. Landry Shamet 2-for-10. Mikal Bridges 2-for-9. The Suns are confident that part will come around. 

As for the officiating? The Suns are just hoping. 

Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports