Through three games, Washington Wizards all-star guard Gilbert Arenas is averaging 26 points and shooting 47.6 percent, but the fifth-year guard would like to get a little more love from the referees.
Despite repeatedly driving to the basket, Arenas has attempted only 12 free throws. En route to averaging a career-high 25.5 points last season, Arenas attempted 640 free throws, an average of eight per game.
"I'm not one of those fakers who is going to scream and flop and play all those little mind games trying to get a call, I'm just going to go and get my basket," Arenas said. "But then I look on TV and see Paul Pierce shot 24 free throws and Michael Redd shot 17 and I'm like, 'Man, I go to the hole harder than anybody, so where are the calls at?' "
Not Up to Standard
The first three games might not have been close if the Wizards had done a better job at the free throw line, where they are shooting just 63.2 percent.
They led the NBA in free throw attempts last season (30.2 per game) and made 72.5 percent. This season, center Brendan Haywood (4 of 10) and forward Antawn Jamison (13 of 19) have struggled. Haywood, a career 60.7 percent free throw shooter, spent extra time at the line following practice yesterday. However, according to Coach Eddie Jordan, there is no substitute for lining up and having to make them in a game. "You can't simulate free throw situations in practice," he said. "You can't put 15,000 people in the stands."