For several years now, NBA fans have grown increasingly frustrated with rules that make it nearly impossible to successfully play defense. With the league shifting towards high-powered offenses, shooters and ball-handlers were reaping the benefits of nearly every new rule that was passed.
Finally, there appear to be changes on the horizon that actually benefit defensive players, as the NBA is finally putting a stop to non-basketball motions used by offensive players to draw fouls. Players most known for this are James Harden and Trae Young, who will often go out of their way to lean into a defender then flop towards the basket to get free throws.
Nothing is completely finalized yet, but changes of this kind are expected to take place for the 2021-22 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The NBA is planning to implement new rules to limit non-basketball moves used to draw fouls beginning next season, pending final discussion and approvals from the Competition Committee and Board of Governors, sources tell The Athletic.
More specifically, the league is trying to limit unnatural motions like leaning in an awkward direction or abruptly changing paths:
– When a shooter launches or leans into a defender at an abnormal angle.
– When a shooter kicks his leg (up or to the side) at an abnormal angle.
– When an offensive player abruptly veers off his path (sideways or backward) into a defender.
This has been a long time coming for the NBA to make these changes. For a few years now, playing defense has been extremely difficult as shooters became more and more protected by the rules. Now, it feels like the playing field is being leveled out.
We’ll see exactly what changes go into effect and how they’ll look in practice. Generally, new rules like this often come with unforeseen complications that need to be addressed the following offseason. But at least the NBA looks to be giving this an earnest attempt.
It will be fascinating to see how players like Harden and Young are able to adjust their games to avoid calls like this going against them.
Horton-Tucker beginning offseason workouts
Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker may have to incorporate these new rules into his offseason training regimen. While most players are still resting and healing, Horton-Tucker is already hard at work. He posted a snippet of his routine to Instagram.
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