Gilbert Arenas’ return to the NBA following two injury plagued seasons has very much been like a roller-coaster during the first 17 games of the season.
The guard has show flashes of his old three-time All-Star self, but many times is evidently still struggling to regain his timing and feel for the game. One of Arenas’ biggest frustrations, this season, however, has been not getting the calls he used to.
The guard always had a knack for getting to the foul line after driving the lane. In the past, he would always either absorb contact, make the shot and get an and-one call, or simply get hacked and be rewarded two foul shots.
But Arenas is finding those calls harder to come by lately.
“It’s just frustrating because I can’t play my game, because [according to the officials], I’m ‘jumping into everybody.’” Arenas said. “If two refs say it, that’s fine, but if every ref says it to me, it means you’re before the game, you’re consciously thinking, ‘When he goes to the lane, we can’t call it because they’re jumping straight up.’ ”
Arenas’ free throw attempts certainly have gone down. After getting to the foul line an average of 10 times in the first five games of the season, Arenas’ free throw attempts have gone down.
Through 13 games, Arenas was averaging 7.6 attempts from the charity stripe, which was just slightly above his career average of 7.4. But in the last four games, Arenas has gotten to the line an average of three times a game.
The guard said something needs to change, but not on his end.
“I think they need to change the way they call the game. That’s all it is,” Arenas said. “Am I making basketball plays? The big man’s out of position and if he didn’t work fast enough to get out of that lane, that’s how the rules work. If you didn’t get outside that lane, anything in there, it’s blocking foul. If you get outside it, it’s a charge. Now, I get in there and it’s a no-call.”