NBA teams are intentionally fouling poor free throw shooters more than ever.
San Antonio’s overall plan was sensible. With just 7.1 seconds left in the quarter, the Spurs probably weren’t getting the ball back without fouling. So, they figured: The difference between their expected output on an extra possession and the Rockets’ with Capela – shooting 42% on free throws this season – going to the line > simply defending Houston’s last shot. It adds up.
Green just got overeager.
“A defender crossing the boundary line prior to the ball being released on a throw-in” should be a delay of game, per NBA rules. The officials just didn’t call it (probably because they’d never seen anyone do it before).
The NBA – were this isn’t even the strangest intentional foul of the night: