Free throws Rumors
Nuggets swingman Aaron Gordon, the burly perimeter stopper for the Nuggets, echoes his conference rival’s sentiment. “The last couple years, people were getting 20 free throws a game; it was crazy,” Gordon says. “Playing at the park, you would never be able to finish a game. We would be arguing the whole time.”
And Malone lived at the free-throw line. He averaged 8.2 free-throw attempts per game. Only Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal have attempted more career free throws among NBA players than Malone’s 11,090. “I hated Moses,” said Mychal Thompson, the first pick in the 1978 draft by Portland who also went on to play on multiple Lakers championship teams in the 1980s. But like most of the big men of that generation, there was no preparing to bang for 40 minutes with Malone. “I had sleepless nights when I knew I was playing the Rockets or 76ers,” Thompson said. “I knew I was going to be assigned to him. I knew I was going to be sore the next night. The guy was freaking relentless. You just knew you were in for a long night. I knew I was going to be beaten up and bruised. He didn’t mind the contact. And he was in such great shape. He didn’t play above the rim, but he was in great shape and he had such great anticipation on rebounds. It was like playing against an athletic octopus.
Fred Katz: RJ Barrett shot 5-for-10 from the free-throw line tonight. “That’s 10 points,” he tells reporters in Cleveland. “We lose by two…I can’t be out there letting the team down missing that many free throws…I’m gonna fix that.”
The Timberwolves were 26-for-31 from the charity stripe, while the Nets took just 15 free throws. Harden — outplayed by former Net D’Angelo Russell — shot 4 of 13 and was just 4 of 4 from the line, not getting the benefit of the whistle. “I don’t know [why],” Harden said. “When I go to the basket it’s the same calls that other guys are getting. Obviously you can’t call all of them, but there’s ones where there’s clearly stiff-arms and trips and things; but on the other end there’s no consistency. It’s frustrating, but whatever. [This] was a tough one for us.”
When Nash and Harden were asked if the All-Star wasn’t getting the benefit of the whistles he always had, both emphatically said no. “I just go to the basket. I have the right to do that,” said Harden, who added he’s gotten no explanation from the refs. “Nothing. Honestly. Like I didn’t see it, or I didn’t think it was a foul. But it’s clear — extremely clear. I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve got to keep going. That’s not going to stop me. Keep getting to the basket, keep being aggressive and keep making plays for my team.”
Dave Early: Reporter: “Do you feel like you’re getting the benefit of the whistle in the same way [you have in the past]?” James Harden “No.” Reporter: “Why do you think that is?” James Harden: “That’s a good question. I mean, I dunno. I don’t even want to talk about it.” pic.twitter.com/O8og8HG1Pe