"You know the fix is in when Austin Reaves getting Joel Embiid calls" - NBA fans react to free throw disparity in favor of LA Lakers
The LA Lakers have been incredible since the trade deadline. Rob Pelinka acquired several big pieces in early February, making the team much more competitive.
With seven games left in their regular season, the Lakers are 37-38 and ninth in the Western Conference. They can move up a few more spots and completely avoid the play-in tournament if things work out.
While there is no doubt that the moves made at the trade deadline have drastically improved the LA Lakers, there might be something else going on. The team has led the league in free throw differential by a large margin over the last two months.
NBA fans believe that the league fixed games for the LA Lakers
Since Jan. 29, the LA Lakers have had the biggest differential of free throws in the league. The differential is 263, which is more than the second (Miami Heat, 123) and third (Philadelphia 76ers, 104) place combined.
The Lakers have played 25 games since then, meaning that they get 10.52 more free throws than their opponents on average. Naturally, this doesn't sit right with many NBA fans and some believe that the league has fixed games for the Lakers.
"You know the fix is in when Austin Reaves is getting Joel Embiid calls," one Twitter user posted.
Reaves is averaging 3.9 free throws per game this season. While it's not as high as Joel Embiid's average of 11.9 free throws, some fans appear to be upset about Reeves' 18-free throw game against the Orlando Magic from March 19.
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Another Twitter account shared another stat that shows how many free throws the Lakers have received this season.
NBA fans believe that the league doesn't want the OKC Thunder to make the playoffs. Instead, the league wants the Lakers.
One fan pointed out that the LA Lakers attack the paint more often than other teams, which is why they get more free throws.
LeBron James returned on Sunday, but the Lakers lost. Some fans even believe that the team is better without the 4-time NBA champion!
Another Twitter user has a great solution to the problem!
The Lakers have lost several games on bad officiating calls this season. LeBron even publicly complained about them, saying that he'll be having a lot of sleepless nights because of them.
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Despite getting all those free throws, the Lakers still haven't been able to win all their games.
The Lakers still haven't secured a playoff spot. With seven games left in the regular season, anything could happen. So many teams are competing for the playoffs that LeBron and his team could fall out of the playoff picture completely.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they have the fourth-easiest remaining schedule of the season.