While the Warriors and Trail Blazers were playing in preseason action on Monday night, we saw the first example of a new NBA rule change thanks to Steph Curry. Curry had a defender off-balance on the perimeter and tried to take advantage by leaning into the defender while shooting a three-pointer. In prior seasons this would have been called a foul, but not this year.
So instead of Curry getting to shoot three free throws, the Trail Blazers grabbed the rebound and took the ball down to the otherside of the court. This rule change is already making quite the impact.
Blazers Announcer: “Not This Year!”
When Curry did not receive the foul call, Trail Blazers TV broadcaster Lamar Hurd immediately exclaimed, “Not this Year!’ The non-call was in direct relation to the newest addition to the NBA rulebook.
No More Jumping Into the Defender Fouls
The purpose of this rule is to discourage offensive players from performing “overt, abrupt, or abnormal non-basketball moves.” The decision to call a shooting foul will still be according to the referee’s discretion. So fouls still can be called from beyond the arc, but only if the shooter does not purposely try to draw contact while performing their shooting motion.
Over the past few seasons, players have leaned on this move and would often be rewarded with a foul call from the referees. Many fans and people around the league began to despise this move, since watching players draw fouls in this manner and get to shoot free throws because of it is not the most exciting brand of basketball.
Impact on the Game
This could truly have effects on the performances of many players around the league. We have seen stars such as Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, and many others use this tactic to their advantage for years now. It led to extra points and a ridiculous amount of free throws which helped the aforementioned player’s overall point totals.
Additionally, it made defending them even more difficult because opponents had to be wary about playing over aggressive defense because the shooter would jump at them and get a foul call. We could see scoring numbers drop and defensive efficiency rise because of this new rule change.
Curry even noted there is bound to be some confusion. He stated;
“There’s gonna be some confusion, let’s say that, to start. Like any rule changes, it takes some time to get adjusted to.”
Was the Rule Change Necessary?
In the end, the fans have a desire to see more action on the court and less free throws. The NBA made the right decision by implementing this new rule as it will benefit not only the fans, but also defenders and the overall game pace as well.
Hopefully, players who have leaned on getting calls by jumping into defenders can work out the adjustments during the preseason and get used to not getting those calls by Opening Night.
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