Back in February, NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the league will likely alter its current rules for the Hack-a-Shaq strategy, stating that he's “increasingly of the view that we will be looking to make some sort of change in that rule this summer.”
Silver believes that since the NBA is an “entertainment property,” making a change is necessary to improve the product for the fans.
However, as the offseason nears, opposition to such a reform is rapidly growing.
In a recent article, ESPN's Zach Lowe reports that there is “a vocal group of team executives and owners [who] are determined to mount one last campaign against it, emboldened by the early postseason exits of DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, and Andre Drummond.
“That contingent includes several players-turned-executives (plus owners Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban) who believe poor free throw shooters should pay an on-court price for their limitations.”
Currently, any player can be intentionally fouled regardless of whether or not they have the ball, and if the team is in the bonus, they'll go to the free throw line. In the final two minutes of the game, only the player with the ball can be intentionally fouled; otherwise, it's a technical and possession is retained following the free throws.
It's commonly used against poor free throw shooters, but overall, only a small number of guys are actually seeing the strategy utilized against them.
Data from ESPN's Kevin Pelton shows that of the 380 intentional off-ball fouls this season, 262 came against just three players, all previously mentioned: DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, and Dwight Howard.
So, will the league really change a rule to essentially accommodate three guys? We'll have to wait until the offseason to find out.
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