Author: Brett Pollakoff

Adam Silver

Adam Silver says he’s ‘on the fence’ about whether to change rules that allow intentional fouling strategy


Fouling poor free throw shooters away from the ball grinds the game to a halt, and isn’t at all aesthetically pleasing.

But it’s legal under the rules, so it has continued to be a topic of debate, even at this early stage of the postseason.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich used it extensively in a Game 2 victory over the Clippers, sending DeAndre Jordan — a 39.7 percent free throw shooter during the regular season — to the line 12 times in the fourth quarter alone.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens employed it against Tristan Thompson — a 64 percent free throw shooter — during the first quarter of Game 3 versus the Cavaliers.

You can question whether or not the so-called “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy is effective, but as long as there are dreadfully poor free throw shooters on the floor, there will be a segment of head coaches who choose to play the percentages. There’s been plenty of talk about whether the league should put rules into place to prevent this from happening, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver remains undecided on how to handle the issue.

From Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he is “on the fence” about intentional fouling away from the ball and expects the league to be “very engaged” about the tactic over the coming months. …

“I’ve sat in meetings with some of the greatest players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird who said that players should learn to make their free throws and it’s part of the game. At the same time, it doesn’t make for great television, so I’m on the fence right now.”

Silver said he finds it to be a “fascinating” strategy in some cases.

“But in other games I watch it and I think, ‘Oh my god, I feel people changing the channels,”‘ he said. “So we’re also an entertainment property that’s competing against a lot of other options that people have for their discretionary time.”

The easiest way to put an end to this, of course, would be to give teams one free throw and possession of the ball anytime an intentional foul away from the ball took place. But that’s assuming that the league does want to end it, which right now seems to be up for some debate — at least in the eyes of the commissioner.

Evan Turner tries to dunk on LeBron James, it ends just as you’d expect (VIDEO)

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Three

Evan Turner played well for the Celtics in Game 3, finishing with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists.

But not every play was a success.

Turner tried to drive and dunk on LeBron James, and it ended just about as well as you’d expect.

Hey, at least he tried.

Right, LeBron?

LeBron gets loose for breakaway windmill slam in Game 3 vs. Celtics (VIDEO)

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Three

LeBron James put a little something extra on this uncontested, breakaway windmill slam he converted in the third quarter of Game 3 against the Celtics, but the steal he came away with in order to have this opportunity might have been more impressive.

James starts the possession on the low block, but sees almost immediately where the ball-handler will have no choice but to throw his next pass. James shoots the gap, and arrives in the passing lane before the ball does. Once he has it, his head start down to the other end of the floor is too great for anyone to be able to catch him.