Facts and nothing but the facts. I have no idea why Eddie F. Rush asked about how many fouls Shaq had. None. I’m like everyone else and didn’t think it had any relevancy. I’m sure there must be a good reason. Eddie F is one of the good guys and better refs in the league.
Now for somefacts.
Credit to the league for listening and following through on travelling. Prior to our last game against the Kings:
For reg season 1.55 travels/game were called.
For the entire playoffs thru the Dall Sac game 5, 1.39 travels per game were called
Since the Dallas Sac game, and through the 2nd game of each conf final, 2.05 travels per game were called.
For some more details, we went to the videotape (thanks WW), and got the following related to travelling. In round two, when the travel calls started to pick up, crews with Ed Rush, called a total of 2 travels across the 5 games he was involved with, while the otherrefs who officiated 4 or 5 games, averaged more travels per game than Ed called the entire series.
Other things that stand out from the data I have.
Bernie Fryar and Dan Crawford based crews called a total of 1 Defensive, 3 seconds each, in the 2nd round. Every other crew called a minimum of 3 across that round. Most averaged more per game than Bernie and Dan’s crews called in total.
Of the officials who worked a minimum of 4 games in the 2nd round, crews withDan Crawford called at least 2 fewer shooting fouls per game than crews with any other official (1 less per game than he did in the regular season).On the flip side, Steve Javie called 6 more shooting fouls per game than Dan Crawford. (In the regular season Steve’s crews called fewer shooting fouls per game than any other in the league). Can we infer that Steve calls the games more closely and Dan less? I will leave that to you 🙂
More fun facts. It seems unless your name is Dick Bavetta (who I think is one of the better officials), whose crews averaged 53 fouls per game in the 2nd round, if you are on a crew that calls more fouls than your peers, you aren’t long for the playoffs. Officials who officiated 2 games or fewer in the 2nd round were on crews that averaged 50.3 fouls per game. Officials who did 3 or more games averaged 46. And if you take Dick Bavettas out of the 3 or more average, that number falls to 45.5. To Dick’s credit, his crews called more fouls per game than any other crew in the regular season as well (45.6). Compare this to another good ref, Steve Javie, whose crews called the the 3rd least (40.8)in the regular season.
IMHO, the most interesting of all the data comes from the fact that total fouls per game are up for every ref when comparing the 2nd round or total playoffs to the regular season, while shooting fouls are down for the same comparison.
You would think that the ratio of shooting fouls called to total fouls would be the same. It’s not. It drops materially. In fact, of the refs officiating more than 4 games in the 2nd round, only Steve Javie called more shooting fouls per game in the playoffs than in the regular season. His numbers were up less than .4 per game, probably meaning he, more than others, calls shooting fouls in the playoffs just as he does in the regular season.
Conclusions from all of this?
More fouls are called in the playoffs than in the regular season, but fewer shooting fouls are called. You could make the argument that this is because there are fewer possessions, fewer shots, and more action going on away from the ball, but we wouldn’t have the relative disparity by officiating crew if that were the case. We should see the pace and action of the game bring the totals by ref towards the mean, and the relative differences between refs should disappear. That is not happening.
My guess on this is that relatively speaking, the better refs appear to have their own style and approach to games. Many appear to modify that approach for the playoffs, while a few call the game as they did in the regular season.
But like the commercial says, only their hairdressers know for sure.