Thursday, November 19, 2009

My E-Mail to David Aldridge

I was reading David Aldridge's column today on and he talked about fothe foul out debate that's been picking up steam over the last few years. Jeff Van Gundy has brought this up on TV before so I figured now would be as good as any to get my two cents in. You can view Aldridge's article here, and my email below. I'll let you know if I get a response.

Here's my take on the foul limits.

Star players already get benefit from the refs. It's not star players who are penalized - it's big men.

Against the Knicks on Weds, Danny Granger picked up two quick fouls but stayed on the court to drop 30 points in the first half. He didn't pick up his 3rd foul until late in the 3rd quarter. Granger stuck on a weak perimeter player (Gallinari). The league's stars know how to play with foul trouble.

Dwight Howard and Greg Oden spend nights in foul trouble because they attempt to block so many shots. Aggressive defense leads to fouling. Joel Pryzbilla was forced to cut his block attempts the last two years to reduce his fouling.

Pryzbilla Block%
2006: 7.1
2007: 7.6
2008: 4.0
2009: 3.9
2010: 5.9 (8th in lg)

Greg Oden is blocking 7.6% of shots this season (1st in lg) compared to only 4.2 last season

Oden and Przybilla combine for 7.5 fouls per game, but they also combine for 3.9 blocks per game. The Blazers allow only 98.7 points per 100 possessions, which is 2nd in the league trailing only the Celtics. Imagine if they no longer had to worry about fouling out? It would be a return to the thuggery of the 80s where the way to beat guys like Jordan was to put them on their ass anytime they ventured into the paint.

Penalties would also overcomplicate the game. Good luck explaining them to a casual fan. Nobody was a fan of illegal defense rules which is why they were scrapped. Many players commit their sixth foul in the waning seconds of a game when intentionally fouling an opponent to play the FT game. Does either team really need penalty FTs in that situation? At that point players should be worried about stopping the clock, whereas a player with 5 fouls would not be able to foul because he would be hurting his team even more.

What the game needs to do is fix the rules so perimeter players don't have a free lane into the paint. We both know the defensive rules are a joke nowadays. They have led to an increase in scoring and instead of having one 30 point scorer (Jordan) we have five (Kobe, James, Wade, Melo, and even Paul). The league obviously feels sports center dunks and artificial star players are what the fans want to see, and they're right. I'm not so sure we need another reason to increase FT attempts league wide, which is what any penalties would create.

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