Suns’ Chris Paul needs to get used to NBA foul rule change

Chris Paul

Chris Paul
Image: Getty Images

At the start of the 2021-22 NBA season, the rule changes were awkward for players used to receiving throw-ins lunging at unsuspecting defenders to make contact and whistle. Trae Young, Damian Lillard and James Harden were just a few stars to talk about the changes, but as the season progressed they got used to the lack of calls, and from the perspective of a fan, it helped smooth out a choppy viewing experience, and eliminated an overused loophole.

I don’t know where the game of basketball is when Chris Paul cuts past a defender and stops in the middle of a fast break to get bulldozed and draw a cheap foul. Or when Harden has a straight to the bucket and corners expectantly like a car in oncoming traffic. This messed up the flow of the game and luckily it has been fixed.

The inspiration for this adjustment came from hoops fans watching FIBA ​​basketball rules at the Olympics and wondering, “Why can’t the NBA be more like this?” Well, the NBA has adopted another one of those wrinkles with the foul that has plagued fast breaks for as long as I can remember.

We all know what I’m talking about. The defense forces a turnover and has numbers on the break only for play to stop because the guy who just lost the ball reached out and fouled the nearest guy in the opposite colors.

Well this season anytime a guy pulls that bullshit outside of the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and OT of games the breaking team will get a free throw by a shooter of their choice and the ball . It’s not the play-on rule like you have in football, that I would like to seebut it absolutely discourages the sandbags of some of the best athletes in the world running at full speed with a track for a roaring dunk or alley-oop (or transition 3 if that’s your bag).

During the broadcast of the Trail Blazers-Suns game on Friday, the Portland team of Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd said there were 1,700 fouls in the NBA last season, which follows considering that ere are 1,230 regular season games every year, and there have been two-and-a-half* in this game, one of which involved, you guessed it, CP3. You could see his gears spinning in real time after he picked one up. His reaction was instinctive, and he had to think about the next time the scenario presented itself.

(*I say two and a half because the second Phoenix was whistled for was borderline with a guard shoving big Blazer Drew Eubanks to position himself in the paint. If it’s a foul, it’s a nice one escape for big men who can get off the ground and into position quickly.)

Blazer winger Josh Hart, who treats every open floor as if it were a personal challenge to get to the rack, hung on and relentlessly forced Suns defenders to meet him in the paint on outings. It was an aha moment, and I suspect it will happen for a host of NBA players who were conditioned to expect a sideline foul instead of a potential addition to their highlight reel.

I also appreciate that the NBA gave referees the power to call them without having to review it first. The clear path rule, which I can’t find if it still exists, had good intentions but was far too confusing. And if the way referees review games – essentially as if they were being exposed to the sport for the first time – were any indication, we should always lean towards simplifying the process.

All in all a great change from the Association, and one that will improve their product which I am sure will not be spoiled in any way…

What do the scans say, Bob?

There is always a caveat. Also during Friday’s Blazers-Suns game which, after Portland was fouled, Blazers analysis guy Cory Jez, who occasionally jumps in to talk numbers, said the expected number of goals from a side at 0.7 something, and that it might actually be advantageous to still foul the jack and play the statistical odds of 1.7 something. It worked in this instance, but only because the Suns missed a wide open 3 that would have made it a four-point swing.

I’m not here for that.

If a “smart” player like Paul continues to foul because the analysis confirms it, Adam Silver should make two shots plus the ball. Can we just take a quick break without having to review it? I mean, my god, I’m good at being told “Well, actually…” by a hipster with a degree in statistics. If you’re so fit, go play pickleball like the rest of those fucking losers.

Comments are closed.