I was born decades after the Great Depression, so I never had the chance to meet Dr. James Naismith. I know you wanted a no-contact game, but to make an honest attempt to achieve that goal, defensive players should not be allowed to slide in front of attacking players whose feet are no more than a second off the ground. However, in 2023, a couple of defenders who played this deceptive defense led to ha morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo suffering injuries that could impact this postseason.
The way kids are taught to play defense at a local gym is to move your feet and reach your hands as infrequently as possible. What they are not told to do is stand in front of a player who is building momentum for a big jump. However, once the results of the game can eventually get an adult fired if unsuccessful are added up, waist-high trips are encouraged.
That kind of defense resulted in Antetokounmpo and Morant having nasty spills on Sunday. Let’s hope they’i will be able to play as The NBA’s top 10 players soon this postseason, but the fact that his health is in a precarious state is a failure of the entire sport.
this is getting stupid
Of course, an offensive player should not be allowed to run over a defender. Basketball is not soccer. Dr. Naismith would want players to change direction and avoid the defender. That shouldn’t be any different in 2023, but defenders shouldn’t be allowed to seek contact.
It’s bad enough that the NBA has to keep trying to legislate the removal of the game. The foul that could be created by an offensive player backing into a defender was ridiculous. In a perfect world, no player should be allowed to make contact and be rewarded with a favorable foul call.
Although Trae Young and James Harden were playing the system with those fouls, it was at least unlikely that a player would get hurt as a result. Both Morant and Antetokounmpo spilled and had to leave the court because an opposing player decided not to play basketball the way it was designed to be played.
Players who stand tall and still while an opposing player runs down the lane are brave. If Antetokounmpo is two full steps ahead and does not try to avoid the defender, the giant must be penalized for an offensive foul. But if he sees an opportunity and the defender gets there at the same time and avoids the vertical for the sole purpose of committing a foul, that should not be rewarded.
Not everyone will be like Frédéric Weis and give the offensive player time to clean your whole body. They will intervene at the last possible second and present a risk to a player who intends to fly and not through.
Enough of trying to get the load out
There are a lot of offensive fouls that can be called in organized basketball, and perhaps they should be called more regularly. However, these last-second attempts to take over should be dismissed as the old NBA illegal defense rule. Allowing players to play defense in this way is like allowing a car on the freeway to wait until the last possible second and then dart into the lane of an oncoming car.
If that car gets rear ended it’s the fault of the car behind it, but that scenario is pathetic. Also, if the accident happened half a second earlier, the jerk car would have been hit in the side and would be at fault.
How about we drive cars and play defense like respectable human beings instead of putting the well-being of others at risk and waiting for the authorities to rule on a technicality?