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alh1020 12-06-12 02:59 PM

Stern says he would like to eliminate “hack-a-Howard” (or anyone)
When the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets went to the “hack-a-Howard” strategy — fouling the Lakers Dwight Howard wherever he was on the court, even when he didn’t have the ball, to make him shoot free throws — it worked because it threw the Lakers off. In those two games Howard hit 50 percent of his free throws during the strategy (which still isn’t great), but the greater impact was it threw the Lakers out of rhythm on both ends of the court.

But it isn’t just the Lakers flow that gets thrown off, it’s the fans, too. Because watching a parade to the free throw line has the drawing power of CSPAN-2.

David Stern is all about the image and how games look on television — just ask Gregg Popovich and the Spurs — so you know he doesn’t like to watch hack-a-anyone. The league has effectively banned the strategy from the last two minutes of the game by making it two free throws plus the ball out of bounds if you foul off the ball.

And Stern told the guys from the Fox Sports New Orleans broadcast team (when he sat in with them for a bit Wednesday night during the Hornets/Lakers game) he tried to get it banned completely, but couldn’t. Thanks to Henry Abbott at TrueHoop for the transcription:
“I would have liked to have seen the rule changed to make the last-two-minute rule the whole rule,” he said. “It was getting to a point last year where, [in the] first period, they were just grabbing players. I think that’s ludicrous.

“We tried to change it to any time in the game because last year I guess it was everyone was fouling Tiago Splitter early on and the committee didn’t want to do it. And so that’s just the way it is. Because the reality is that there are a lot of basketball purists — and I understand that point of view — who say, ‘Hey, why don’t you learn to shoot foul shots? You’re supposed to be a pro.’”

Abbot makes an interesting suggestion — for off-the-ball fouls, offer the team the free throws or the ball out of bounds. Essentially eliminate the effectiveness of the strategy without killing the flow of the game as much.

I get that. The parade to the free throw line is no fun to watch. But if a guy can’t make his free throws, shouldn’t his team pay a price for that?

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alh1020 12-06-12 03:07 PM

IMO, looks like the LAL leadership may have complained to the league to do something to protect them from the rest of the NBA teams picking on them and their 'Superman' center, Dwight Howard, parading him to the charity stripe and flaunting his weakness, free throw shooting. And here comes Stern, thinking about taking away the opposing coaches' ability to expose that weakness. The Lakers must really be hearing it from the LA fans since it's probably most happening in Staples. No bad, so sad, I'm glad you're mad.

td4mvp2k 12-06-12 03:41 PM

If it helps the Lakers then Stern is for it. Would of liked it if D-Wade broke the penguins glasses during the lockout.

bigjosh721 12-06-12 03:50 PM

There he goes again changing what the coaches can and cant do. When is this guy ever gonna just kick back and enjoy his last year (hopefully he retires)? Usually when someone plans to retire they let the next person in line take over. In this case I wouldnt be surprised if Stern plans to stay longer. facepalm

katyspursfan 12-06-12 06:23 PM

A change like this would most likely have to go through a rules committee. But he has to do what he can to protect the lakers during the remainder of his reign.

dark21horse 12-06-12 06:41 PM

The NBA is becoming more entertainment and less of a sport. Pretty soon it will be like WWE or WWF where the outcome is predetermined.......if it isn't already.

bigjosh721 12-06-12 06:57 PM

Stern used Splitter as an example for the “hack-a-Howard”, when Splitter is the best example of why you don't want to take the rule out of the game. Now teams would think twice before they hack Splitter cause he improved on his free throws.

Spurd_On 12-06-12 07:36 PM

So what's the next rule after this? You are not allowed to inbounds pass to your best freethrow shooter?

grizzly_bexar 12-06-12 07:49 PM

I like the fact that it's a part of the game.

I think Stern would just like to make the entire NBA one big dunk contest.

Uwe Blab 12-06-12 10:59 PM

Doesn't anyone see that this is a direct dig at Pop? Pop is the one that uses that rule the most, especially against Howard, and in the past against Shaq. Why would Splitter be the first one to come to Stern's mind when talking about this rule change?

grizzly_bexar 12-06-12 11:18 PM

Maybe we should eliminate free throws at the end of games, too.

Oh, wait. Somehow that's awesome television but free throws in the third quarter of a isn't game aren't.

I think it has mostly to do with the fact that the regular season product sucks overall and Stern is trying to make excuses for it.

Everything people say they "hate" about what the Spurs do, is what EVERYBODY does when the games really count.

alh1020 12-06-12 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by Spurd_On (Post 1288243)
So what's the next rule after this? ....

No hand signals from the bench and no conversing with the refs at any time while the game is being played. And since Chip Engelland is on the Spurs staff, he is directed to assist each Spurs opponent on the art of free throw shooting, pro bono.

BadKo 12-07-12 02:43 AM

I'd like to see a Slap a Stern rule.
Anytime its determined that a Ref makes an obviously bad call that is just beyond belief the Coach of the adversely affected team gets to Slap Stern!

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