So you're not worried about a different sort of whistle…

More on Rules Changes

I had the Hawks at No. 6 in my Power Rankings heading into training camp, which I think was higher than most preseason prognostications. Then I got some grief from a reader saying that I should have had you guys lower because the new rules designed to cut down on free throws awarded to players who initiate contact would affect your game greatly. How are you adjusting so far to the way games are being called?
Stephen Curry saw a tweet from the NBA’s officiating account recently. The league was using it to detail some of the rule changes this season. They’re attempting to cut out some of the strategic foul-baiting that’s run rampant in recent years, especially among star scorers. One of the examples they used was Curry.
“There was a play against Milwaukee — two guys guarding me at the same time,” Curry said. “I changed directions. I think (Donte) DiVincenzo came behind me. They used that as one of the examples. They said that wouldn’t have been a (defensive) foul (and actually an offensive foul). I’m sitting there watching the video, like, uhh, I’m still confused on how that’s not a (defensive) foul.”
“There’s going to be some confusion to start, for sure,” Curry said. “Any emphasis they put from one year to the next, the changes, it takes some time to adjust. I’m sure there will be some antics early … Like that (stepback) traveling thing a couple years ago, refs are trained to look at a certain thing, but there’s a lot of other things going on. They have to get adjusted too.”
So while 3s make up around 40 percent of all shot attempts, they represent only about five percent of all shooting fouls. This is an important point to keep in mind when wondering why your favorite player doesn’t get as many whistles as his peers. If they don’t get to the rim often, then they probably won’t get fouled often. In general, the more shots at the rim a player takes, the more shooting fouls they will be able to draw.
The chart below shows the distribution of shooting fouls drawn by distance from the hoop. I’ve limited the chart to the players that drew at least 100 shooting fouls last season. The players are ordered on the chart by the median distance on all the shooting fouls they drew, meaning the further up a player is on the chart, the larger their proportion of shooting fouls that came from jump shots. At the top of the list is Trae Young. No player has exemplified the need for a change in officiating more than Young. His foul baiting has drawn the ire of opposing coaches and national media alike. More than half of all the shooting fouls Young drew last season came from further than ten feet from the hoop. That’s the highest proportion out of anyone who drew at least 100 shooting fouls last season.
Other players that relied on drawing shooting fouls off of jump shots last season include Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, and James Harden. Of those three, I suspect that Harden will have the hardest time adapting to the change in officiating. Given his age and recent injury history, it’s reasonable to think Harden will have more trouble getting to the rim compared to younger players like Booker and Doncic.
NBA Official: Overt, non-basketball moves used by offensive players to initiate contact with defenders will include when: - The shooter launches or leans into a defender at an abnormal angle - The offensive player abruptly veers off his path (sideways or backwards) into a defender
Storyline: Rules Changes
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December 8, 2021 | 8:24 pm EST Update