Lakers star LeBron James attempting free throw Jan 29, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) attempts a free throw after a technical foul during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Even Los Angeles Lakers TV play-by-play voice Bill Macdonald raised an eyebrow at the frequency of which they’re getting to the free throw line this season.

The Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets 135-119 Monday night, but they won the free throw advantage, which is something they’ve grown accustomed to. During the broadcast, Macdonald highlighted the free throw disparity the Lakers have enjoyed this year.

“They have shot 233 more free throws coming into this game than their opponents this year. And that is far and away ahead of the 2nd place team in that category, the New York Knicks,” Billy Mac noted during their Monday night broadcast on Spectrum SportsNet. “So this is a team that gets to the line a lot.”

No big deal, there’s probably an easy explanation for that. With an offense led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers must be driving to the basket a lot and drawing contact to get on the line. Nope. And fortunately, Mac provided that context.

“They rely so much on the free throw,” Mac continued. “Oddly though, the Lakers are dead last in drives to the basket which kind of doesn’t make too much sense.”

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Last season, the Lakers attempted 597 more free throws than their opponents including the playoffs. Just to show how big that number is, the disparity between the Lakers and the second-place team in that category was larger than the separation between second and 28th.

But when even the home announcer is raising an eyebrow at the number of free throws the Lakers are attempting, something’s fishy. Cue the conspiracies. Maybe the NBA wants to make sure the Lakers are in the playoffs to give credence to the in-season tournament. Or maybe the NBA wants to make sure Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless keep talking about the Lakers. Whatever the reasoning is, the Lakers have attempted 1180 free throws this season, and if you ask LeBron James, he’d probably say it should be double.

[Tomer Azarly]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to