In the 2016 NBA postseason, the level of competition certainly rose to something outstanding. However, some of these enhanced efforts to win have turned into overt physicality, and these instances not being called is becoming a common theme in the playoffs.
While some players have had trouble with blatant fouls, others have had instances where they had to essentially play a different game because of the lenient rules entering the playoffs. Hall of Famer and 1975 NBA Finals MVP Rick Barry feels these rules need to be strictly implemented just as they are during the regular season.
“It's like there's a different freaking rule book,” commented Rick Barry. “You're forcing your star players to elevate their game to another level, and when you allow physicality to take place, you're giving advantage to the less skilled player.”
Of course larger players like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook welcome this added intensity to the game as they can utilize their strength to gain an offensive advantage, but smaller players like Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving have a harder time with grabbier defenders who get away with putting their hands on players.
“The fact that NBA Playoff allows a separate set of rules for officiating is stupid,” continued Barry. “It requires no skills to shove, grab, hold an opponent and somehow that's allowed at the biggest stage.”
Perhaps the remaining one to three games of this postseason will revert to rules that make the game of basketball fair and fun like it always has been. We can always hope, right?
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