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Community Shootaround: Intentional Fouls

Commissioner Adam Silver vowed during the NBA playoffs that changes were coming to discourage defenders from intentionally fouling poor free throw shooters. The Board of Governors approved some new rules this month in that regard, though it seems to be a watered-down compromise.

Under the new rules, if a player is fouled away from the ball in the last two minutes of a quarter, his team will receive one free throw and retain possession of the ball. That rule has been expanded to a player being fouled during an inbounds play.

Previously, the free-throw-plus-possession rule only applied to the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Board also expanded its rules on flagrant fouls to include deliberate, overaggressive fouls such as jumping on the back of an opponent during a free throw attempt. That tactic was sometimes used during the last two minutes of games once the free-throw-plus-possession stipulation was in effect.

These changes might make it a little less appealing to intentionally foul but it’s certain that poor free throw shooters such as Andre Drummond, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan will continue to get grabbed off the ball before the last two minutes of a quarter. Anybody hoping to see “Hack-A-Dre” and “Hack-A-Dwight” go away will be disappointed.

It’s also difficult for their coaches to leave them in the game during the final two minutes, knowing those big men could be grabbed during pick-and-roll plays or while going for an offensive rebound, which wouldn’t be considered an “away from the ball” foul.

The league could have, for example, given teams the option to decline free throws and simply retain possession on intentional fouls, or even provide the option of having a better free throw shooter go to the line in those situations.

Some executives, such as Pistons coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy, believe the new rules won’t have much of an effect. Others, such as Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, believe the league shouldn’t be doing anything to discourage “Hack-A” strategies.

This leads us to our question of the day: Did the new rules changes regarding intentional fouls go too far or should the league have done more to prevent the “Hack-A” tactic?

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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11 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Intentional Fouls

  1. halos101

    should have done more. This stuff needs to end and silver could’ve done more to get rid of it. I have a feeling we will still be talking about getting rid of it next year

  2. dontbelazy

    should have done nothing. tim duncan and tiago splitter both were 50% to start praticed and got to 70s.

  3. dontbelazy

    tristan thompson got to the 60s from 50%

  4. dontbelazy

    deandre gave a bad view for audience when he went partying with okc after okc whooped him and their team.

  5. TDKnies

    I fully acknowledge it’s boring as hell to watch, but I wish they would’ve done nothing. If you suck at any aspect of the game, other teams should have the option to abuse you for it. If these guys weren’t pathetic free throw shooters, other teams wouldn’t foul them because they’d be giving up free points. Can’t stand to see the league make rules to cover up for its players’ inefficiencies.

  6. aarongill

    Maybe they should practice free throws while they are getting paid millions.

    • halos101

      they do practice. If you don’t know what a player does during his time off court why do you act like you do?

  7. Priggs89

    They should’ve just made it like a technical foul – the coach can send whoever he wants to take the FT’s. I don’t see how it makes sense to be able to foul someone that has nothing to do with the play and send them to the FT line (especially on inbounds plays). The fact that it was allowed in the first place is ridiculous.

    • True. This would fix the problem of hack a shaq. But then again the players should try to gets little better at free throws. If they aren’t good they should deal with it. So I personally think they should have left it. But this idea would prevent the hack a shaq foul.

  8. This is too confusing. Can we simply give teams the option to decline the bonus and take the ball out of bounds the same as they do for the first 5 non shooting fouls? Rarely are solutions both simple and effective!

  9. json-api

    This new ruling doesn’t do anything. Nobody comes away happy. The people who say that the Hack-a-Shaq should stay are unhappy and the people who are for getting rid of it don’t come away satisfied either. This is basically a half job done by the NBA. They should’ve either kept the old ruling or make it apply to the full 48 minutes (plus overtime).

    While I completely understand why the Hack-a-Shaq is boring, I disagree with this ruling because it eliminates strategy. Every single game, in every single sport, is a game of strategy. If a certain player can’t hit free throws and the opposing team tries to take advantage of that, why make a ruling against it? The strategy of daring a player to hit their free throw shots is the same as daring a poor perimeter shooter to hit perimeter shots, or (if baseball is more of your style) trying to take advantage of matchups by working the platoon advantage. Isn’t the point of the game to get better and make yourself a better player? Otherwise players are going to start plateau-ing and the game isn’t going to get better. This ruling is also going to discourage younger players from working on their free throw shooting as they’re going to think “why should I work on free throw shooting if the team isn’t getting taken advantage of because of my poor shooting?”

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