For a guy like LeBron James who attacks the paint at will, four free throw attempts in an NBA Finals game seems very low. After Game 4 of the Finals in which James shot four free throws, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue took to the postgame press conference with a pretty straight forward comment: LeBron is not getting the benefit of the doubt with officials.
“He never gets calls,” Lue said Friday. “I mean, he attacks. Outside of Russell Westbrook, he’s one of the guys that attacks the paint every single play. And he doesn’t get a fair whistle all the time because of his strength and because of his power and guys bounce off of him. But those are still fouls, and we weren’t able to get them. But we’ve got to play through officiating.”
The On Sunday, the NBA announced Lue has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the referees.
James has taken 17 free throw attempts in the entire NBA Finals, which is unbelievably low for him. As Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted, James is averaging 5.4 free throws per game in the 2016 playoffs, and if that trend continues, it’ll be the lowest average of his 13-year career.
“It’s been like that all year, for the most part,” James said after the game. “I’m not quite sure what I can do personally to get to the free throw line, but I’ve got to continue to be aggressive for our team.
“I’m getting hit, but the refs are not seeing it that way on my drives. … It’s tough playing 46 minutes and only going to the line four times, as much as I attack the rim. So it’s just a tough situation for our team.”