The Offbeat: Some Fun Technical and Flagrant Foul Facts

Here, Ed Malloy, who's actually not a bad ref, gives Ty Corbin a technical foul. He does like stretching, though. - USA TODAY Sports

Okay, so technical and flagrant fouls are actually given out to the league's worst behaviors... but that doesn't mean there can't be some fun facts!

Because Amar is brilliant, and spent much time on his statistical analysis piece today regarding 1st option scorers, I wanted to use my Offbeat today as a fun sidenote, and of course, what is more fun than NBA players behaving badly? Probably many things, but the stats are available, and so we today take a look at the NBA's official stats regarding technical and flagrant fouls. Here, from the NBA site itself, are the two documents with the league-wide totals for each category:

Technical Foul Tracker PDF

Flagrant Foul Tracker PDF

And, for those who simply want a Jazz-centric summary, are your promised fun facts:

  • Ty Corbin is currently 3rd in the league in technical fouls for head coaches, with 4. His total is surpassed by Knicks' coach Mike Woodson, with 6, and by fired Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry, with 5. Frank Vogel of the Pacers also has four.
  • Millsap leads the Jazz with 4 technical fouls, followed by Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, Jamaal Tinsley, and Mo Williams with 2 a piece. DeMarre Carroll and Enes Kanter only have one.
  • DeMarcus Cousins' two technicals in Utah vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard with 11 total; before Monday, he was tied with Carmelo Anthony, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant. Given the star power of that list, there doesn't seem to be any favorable refereeing in terms of technicals given to the NBA's more popular players.
  • Once a player reaches his 16th technical foul, he is automatically suspended for the following game. This happens every other technical for the rest of the season. In the playoffs, the counter is reset, and the new threshold is 7 technical fouls.
  • After Monday's game, Jamaal Tinsley now leads the Jazz with 2 flagrant fouls. Derrick Favors has the only other one for Utah.
  • Mo Williams was called for one against San Antonio on November 3rd, but it was rescinded by the league. Here is that play:
  • Dwight Howard leads the NBA with 3 flagrant-one fouls, and 1 flagrant-two fouls. This may end up hurting the Lakers in their playoff hunt against the Jazz, for the reasons below:
  • The NBA has a point system for flagrant fouls: flagrant-ones are worth 1 point, and flagrant-twos are worth 2. Once a player reaches 5 points, he is automatically suspended for his next game. On the next flagrant foul Dwight Howard commits, he will be suspended. In the playoffs, the point cutoff is 3 points.
  • Beyond 7 flagrant points, any flagrant foul is an automatic 2 game suspension. This cutoff is 5 flagrant points for the playoffs.

In conclusion, the Jazz are good citizens, the Lakers are not, and in a only-barely-conceivable playoff race between the two teams, an ill-timed suspension for the bad guys may make all the difference.

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