Last season, there was a huge increase in the intentional fouling of poor free throw shooters in NBA games. The ‘hack-a-player’ strategy was used by multiple teams throughout the year and affected guys like Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, and any other poor free throw shooter.
Commissioner Adam Silver had worked hard in attempts to speed up the game, and he feared that intentional fouling these players over extended periods of time slowed down the game — which it did — and impacted the business of the NBA.
Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report reported the change first:
“The current rule for away-from-the-play fouls is applicable in the last two minutes of the fourth period (and last two minutes of any overtime) — pursuant to which the fouled team is awarded one free throw and retains possession of the ball — will be extended to the last two minutes of each period.”
The other two adjustments were on fouls before the ball is inbounded, and flagrant fouls.
It would’ve been rash to see the rule abolished all together right away, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Moreover, although it was more prevalent, it wasn’t bad enough an epidemic to get rid of it immediately, as it were only the case with the three big men mentioned above.
More details to come as they’re released.
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