Why Phoenix Suns and fans have even more reasons to hate NBA referees – The Arizona Republic


Phoenix Suns fans didn’t need another reason to have issues with referees.
Betsperts just gave them one.
The website tallied up some figures and concluded the Suns have committed more fouls over the last seasons than any other team in the NBA.
                                           21-22    20-21    19-20    18-19    17-18      Total
Phoenix Suns                   1633      1374      1609      1932      1807      8355
Memphis Grizzlies          1620      1349      1546      1801      1900      8216
Toronto Raptors              1607      1526      1559      1724      1783      8199
Washington Wizards      1545      1555      1634      1701      1746      8181
Philadelphia 76ers          1590      1456      1529      1745      1811      8131
Houston Rockets             1692      1407      1566      1803      1597      8065
L.A. Clippers                    1528      1383      1594      1913      1638      8056
Atlanta Hawks                 1534      1392      1548      1932      1606      8012
New York Knicks              1672      1473      1464      1713      1682      8004
Brooklyn Nets                  1670      1371      1510      1763      1688      8002
Add Chris Paul’s longstanding issues with Scott Foster , these numbers give Suns fans even more fuel to hate the referees.
The Suns committed the second-most fouls in the NBA in Monty Williams’ first season as their head coach.
This was after tying Atlanta for most fouls committed in a season during Igor Kokoskov’s first – and last season – leading the Suns in 2018-19.
This was Phoenix’s second-worst season in franchise history at 19-63.
The season before?
Phoenix was whistled for the third-most fouls in the 2017-18 season when Earl Watson was fired after an 0-3 start and replaced by Jay Triano.
The Suns won just 21 games in 2017-18.
Two seasons later, the Suns hired Williams and continued to commit fouls at an alarming rate, but have been whistled for fewer fouls the last two seasons.
Phoenix tied for 14th with Denver in the 2020-21 season and 19th in total fouls in 2021-22. In turn, the Suns had the league’s best record last season after posting the NBA’s second-best record in 2020-21.
Coincidence?
The Suns have also gone from being last in defensive rating in 2017-18 and 29th in 2018-19 to 17th in 2019-20 in Williams’ first season, sixth in 2020-21 and third last season.
So is it fewer fouls leading to better defense, vice versa, or something more?
Probably all three and more.
Still, Phoenix being whistled for more total fouls over the last five seasons than any other team in the NBA will give its fans more reason to boo louder at the referees this season.
For subscribers: How Suns big Deandre Ayton can become a Top 3 NBA center
Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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