The referees have been at front and center in this year's NBA Finals. The Celtics have had their beefs and the Lakers have had theirs.
But who has been worse over the course of the 2010 NBA Finals?It seems that the Celtics' players, over the course of the first five games, have actually reacted more than the Lakers' players:
The players, of course, have their own thoughts. In the first five games of the Finals—which continue Tuesday with Game 6 in Los Angeles—the Celtics screamed, threw up their arms or spun around in disgust (or all three) after 48% of the fouls they were called for, according to an analysis by The Count. We looked at every foul in the series that wasn't intentional, tracked the observable reactions and gave extra weight to the more blatant complaints. The Lakers expressed displeasure about 36% of the time, even though Kobe Bryant disputed half of his while Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce only bickered about one-third of theirs.
At least Mr. Bryant's carping was usually sedate, consisting mainly of dirty looks and puzzled stares toward referees (we didn't include the time he yelled at a teammate for being in the wrong place). The Celtics' Rasheed Wallace, an infamous hothead, wasn't so calm—he whined about 65% of his calls, usually jumping and running around the court in frustration. Then there is Lakers' center Andrew Bynum, the biggest player on the court. He only took issue with 15% of his calls, the lowest mark of any regular player in the series.
And I know what you're thinking: No, Rasheed Wallace's reactions do not count as double, as much as maybe they should.