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Technical fouls calls up 27 percent this season

NBA Finals Game 7:  Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Referee Dan Crawford discusses a call with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Interesting numbers from the ESPN statistics folks, which Zach Harper lays out over at TrueHoop:

Number of technical fouls per game through Oct. 31: 07-08 season, 1.18; 08-09 1.80; 09-10 1.76;

This season it is 2.42 technicals per game. Per game that is a 27 percent increase over last season.

Or look at it this way: Last season there had been 67 technicals called by Oct. 31, this season there have been 104.

This has been the impact of the new “respect for the game” technical foul rules.

It is working in this sense — complaining is certainly down. Phil Jackson said during film sessions it was “comical” to see the guys trying to hold back.

But the question is has it gone too far with some officials. Some games — New Orleans vs. Denver last Friday night for example — saw a game drag to an ugly halt during the second quarter as a parade of free throws killed the flow. There have been things like the technical on Darko Milicic this weekend in what ended up being part of a one-point loss. The line for what is and is not permissible seems to move nightly, and vary from official to official.

Personally, I think Kevin McHale hit the nail on the head.