Thunder Coach "Frustrated" With Young Team's Treatment From Officials

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the youngest team in the NBA this season (average player age: 23.14 years old). There's an old adage in the league that players have to 'earn the officials respect' in order to get calls. That certainly seems to be at work in the case of the Thunder, and head coach Mark Daigneault makes a pretty good argument that things need to change:

Not one to blurt out complaints without some data to back him up, Daigneault said, "89% of shooting fouls in the NBA are called in the paint. That's a fact. We lead the league in drives at 66 a game; we lead the league in paint touches at 102 a game. The next closest team in drives is at 55... And (yet) we're 28th in free throw attempts this season... And the other teams that are in the paint as much as we are are top 5-6 in free throw rate..."

This guy makes a pretty convincing argument, doesn't he? Something in all those numbers doesn't really add up. Tops in the league in getting into the paint, but 28th in the league in free throw attempts? 

"It's cumulative frustration that I'm pointing out in real-time," added Daigneault. "I'm just trying to point out to the crews the amount that we're putting pressure on the defense, and if the defense is illegal, the call should be made."

Hard to argue. 

The Thunder, who had been off to a nice start to the season, have dropped three in a row, and are now at 7-11, in 12th spot in the Western Conference.

Photo: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports