The numbers posted on Zoo Tennis are not "fishy, deceiving or disingenuous."
Let's take a real simple look at 2012 vs. 2014 levels 1-3 without including sectionals, grand masters, sweet sixteens or team championships. I'm going to use 14s because they are simplest and the numbers are most favorable to the USTA side (clay and hard courts draw sizes reain the same). 2012 numbers are also more favorable to the USTA than those of years past.
2012: 512 opportunities in level 1s, 512 in 2s, 1280 in 3s.
2014: 288 in 1s, 256 in 2s, 384 in 3s.
As you can see, it is still a massive cut in playing opportunities to about 40% of where they are today. Combine that, in many cases, with smaller sectional draws and the difference is even more dramatic.