MIAMI – The Miami Heat have contacted the league about the lack of calls the team is getting while going to the basket, the Post has learned.
Although the Heat lead the NBA in drives, averaging 38.7 per game, they are getting a foul called an NBA low 8.5 percent of those drives.
Minnesota is getting a foul call a league-high 21.7 percent of its drives.
Miami is 27th out of 30 teams in free throw attempts with 19.7 per game.
“I don’t know if the league anticipated we’d be this aggressive in getting to the rim and being this persistent of attacking and driving,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “If you stay consistent and stay the course and stay stubborn with that you’ll get rewarded.
“I just want us to continue to play to that identity, being aggressive, being an attack team, being physical, putting the ball on the floor. I liked our team’s attacks (in a 93-90 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday) where we had some absolute assaults on the rim and it’s either a call or no call but it’s a decision the official has to make because there is contact.”
Spoelstra, though, said sometimes the right play is passing the ball out after sucking in the defense.
“A handful of times you have to go in there and if you have an open teammate it could be better for a wide open shot.”
The Heat (2-8) have lost six in a row entering tonight’s game against Milwaukee (5-5).
Guard Josh Richardson said the team can’t think about the lack of calls.
“If the refs aren’t calling it that means they’re not seeing it, I guess,” Richardson said. “You can’t really think too much into that because then we’ll just be worrying about the refs. We have to take care of what we can take of and maybe they’ll figure it out eventually.”
Nobody has been more frustrated over the lack of calls than guard Dion Waiters who in the last two games played 70 minutes, took 44 shots, including 22 at the rim, and did not attempt a free throw in either game.
On the season, Waiters has taken 60 shots from five feet or less (making 21). He has shot 21 free throws (making just 11) or 2.1 a game, which means 120 players in the league have attempted more free throws than Waiters.
“He’s making and creating contact every time,” Spoelstra said. “He’s making good plays for us.
“He’s never attacked as much as he has right now. He’s not settling and that’s what we emphasize. We don’t want him settling for a contested two-point jump shot. Not when the defense wants that.”
Waiters is 12th in the league in drives per game. Heat point guard Goran Dragic is seventh in the league. Dragic missed the last three games with a sprained ankle but could return tonight.