Why Phoenix Suns and fans have more reasons to hate NBA referees

Phoenix Suns fans didn’t need another reason for their troubles with the Rulers.

The Betsperts only gave them one.

The site counted some numbers and concluded that the Suns made more mistakes than any other team in the NBA over the past seasons.

21-22 20-21 19-20 18-19 17-18 the 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

Los Angeles 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 Networks 1670 1371 1510 1763 1688 8002

Add in Chris Paul’s long-running woes with Scott Foster, these numbers give Suns fans more fuel for the referee’s hatred.

May 10, 2022;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns goalkeeper Chris Paul responds after being called up for a foul against the Dallas Mavericks during Game Five of the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the Footprint Center.

The Suns made the second biggest mistake in the NBA in Monty Williams’ first season as their head coach.

That was after tying with Atlanta for the most fouls made in a season during Igor Kokoskov’s first season – and last season – leading the Suns in 2018-2019.

This was Phoenix’s second worst season in franchise history at 19-63.

previous season?

Phoenix whistled for the third-highest number of fouls in the 2017-18 season when Earl Watson was sent off after 0-3 and replaced by Jay Triano.

Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson reacts to a call during the first half of an NBA basketball team game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Phoenix.

The Suns won just 21 games in the 2017-18 season.

After two seasons, Suns hired Williams and continued to make mistakes at an alarming rate, but have been whistled by fewer fouls in the past 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 best record in the league last season having scored the second best record in the NBA in 2020-21.


March 19, 2021;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Monty Williams, coach of the Phoenix Suns, was ejected from the game after receiving two double technical fouls against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half at the Phoenix Suns Arena.

The Suns also went from last in the defensive rankings 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, do fewer mistakes lead to a better defense, or vice versa, or something else?

Maybe three or more.

However, Phoenix’s whistle for making more overall fouls over the past five seasons than any other team in the NBA will give their fans more reason to stress over the referees this season.

For subscribers: How Suns big Deandre Ayton could become a top 3 NBA center

Do you have an opinion about the current position of the sun? Access to Suns Insider Duane Rankin’s dmrankin@gannett.com Or call him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at Tweet embed.

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