On today’s NBA Playoff Fix, Skeets and Tas breakdown that ol’ pivotal Game 5 between the Hawks and Bulls. Topics include, Thibodeau’s defensive roll of the dice, Gibson’s huge fourth quarter, the Korver/Bogans/Brewer debate, Teague carving up the Bulls’ transition D, Josh Smith’s second “professional basketball game” in a row, and more. All that, plus thoughts on Andrew Bynum’s five-game suspension, the Washington Wizards new uniforms, and, again, foulin’ guys on the fast break. Enjoy.

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Comments (34)

  1. re: Wizards

    One of the new touches to the jerseys and the logo design is the inclusion of the Washington Monument (look in the lowercase “d” and “h” across the jersey fronts). Great incorporation of DC-centric theme. Also, Ted Leonsis’s ownership group is called Monumental Sports. Some speculation going on in the Wiz twittersphere/blogosphere that they’re laying the groundwork to change the name to the Washington Monuments.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Skeets about the hockey breakaway reference. Now that you mention it, there seems to be no reason why the “clear path” foul SHOULDN’T be applied to fast-break. This is from the Personal Foul section of the NBA’s 2010-2011 rule book (p.44):

    “two free throw attempts and possession of the ball on the sideline nearest the spot
    where play was interrupted if an offensive player, or a teammate, is fouled while
    having a clear-path-to-the-basket. The ball and an offensive player must be positioned between the tip-of-circle extended in the backcourt and the basket in the
    frontcourt, with no defender between the ball and the basket when the personal
    foul occurs. However, if a defender is ahead of the player being fouled and has
    the opportunity to position himself between the ball and the basket, there is no
    clear path foul. There must be team possession and the new play must originate in
    the backcourt, including throw-ins, and the offended team must be deprived of an
    opportunity to score”

    Seems to me that pretty much covers fast-breaks completely! Though, I still think Tas has a point in that there isn’t really a way to completely remove the refs’ subjectivity from it.

  3. JaVale looks like he’s imitating a French person sighing. Guess he’s being Pierre there.

  4. So you guys think the Bulls are done?

  5. feeds.feedburner.com is also blocked in China!!!

    Guys why are doing this?

    Remember more NBA fans in China than in North America.
    Oh yeah, and they are all required to study and pass an English test to get into college.

    Think of the potential. J.E. and Tas think about your future.

  6. They remind of the Blazers jerseys in style and color scheme. Would you agree?

  7. Quick question guys…where does the money go that a suspended person forfeits?

  8. Bynum should have got 15 games, he absolute did it with 100% Malice and $25,000 was just right.

    Wizards uniforms = 10/10, best uniforms in the league.

    Skeet, stop with the rants about wrapping players up. The league needs to worry about the stupid camera men under the basket.

  9. In regards to the rulebook discussion, I think the best course of action would be to simply change the rulebook so that, as skeets said, the only way a defender can stop the offensive player without commiting a clear path foul is to make a clear play on the ball. If the defender makes any momentum-influencing play on the offensive players body (pushes, holds to slow them down). For example, the typical defense by a guard would have to swipe downward in front of the player to try and foul their arms or knock the ball loose. This happens frequently already. The LeBron James stamp block would be the course of action for athletic players. This rule would obviously favour athletic and fast guys, a trend that the NBA has been following for years, but might bring about a greater frequency of flagrant 1′s from guys getting hit on the head etc. in a failed attempt at swiping the ball.


  10. ^ only for situation deemed a ‘fastbreak’, obviously.

  11. I agree with the rant…

    Fouls where there’s no play on the ball should be separated from flagrant fouls (which are dangerous or at least have the intent to hurt). The person only gets a personal foul, nothing that can lead towards ejection, but it should also punish the team by giving the shooter 2 shots plus ball.

  12. luislandry: What you are describing is a flagrant 1. A dangerous foul with intent to hurt is a flagrant 2. The rules already cover this, but are not enforced.

  13. @Settons – Apparently, it’s this: half the fine goes to the Players’ Association and the league retains the other half. Each then donates its portion to a group of charities of its choice.

    Fines against non-playing personnel (coaches, GMs, owners, etc.) or the teams themselves go directly to the league and are not donated.

  14. JJ Barea is dating Miss Universe, he doesn’t need Bynums money…

  15. Al Horford went for the chasedown block and almost killed TJ Ford: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaZdJzsHeZk

    Not sure making that play the only play is the best answer.

  16. Maybe NBA players should start wearing a flag belt like in flag football. When the flag belt is removed from a player it’s cosidered a foul. That way the defender still has a chance to foul the offensive player and stop him from scoring two points and you get rid of all the pushing/shoving/bear-hugging.

    ^^ I am kidding of course… But while we’re talking about new rules: How about punishing floppers with technical fouls?

  17. More Zaza imitations please!

  18. What if you treated a hit/hug from behind on the fast break as goaltending? It would eliminate the incentive behind the fast-break foul (make them work for the 2), and it wouldn’t slow down the game. Even 2 shots + the ball doesn’t address the root cause quite as well. If you completely eliminate the incentive for the hit, it becomes a dumb move for the defender every time.

  19. It can’t be subjective and case by case. Bibby on Big Baby wasn’t a flagrant because of their size difference. If a big guy who can move…..let’s say Dwight Howard….chased down Bibby and bearhugged him like that it would definitely be a flagrant. That’s too subjective. I’m with skeets, let’s make it a uniform rule.

  20. This is why you guys are truly the best; you don’t have selective memories. It was really cool to see you guys bring up the reality that Rose was never a high volume FT shooter before midway through this year and had trouble “selling” calls since his rookie year – this is something only die hard Bulls fans really were jumping on at the time, and it shows how knowledgeable and well versed in player characteristics you guys are that you remember this.

  21. Bynum makes half of Barea’s year payroll in five games?!?! And who plays with more heart? It’s just wrong, I get it that some players are stars, whatever… But the gap is too big…

  22. Yea Tas, Garbajosa was awesome.

  23. In Europe (FIBA rules) we have the new rule, that if a player is on the 1-0 fastbreak, the following definsive player may not reach in in any way from behind or the side, if he does, its 2 FT and the ball back.
    dont know if you can also call flagrant 1 or 2 if its malicious, but i think this would be reasonable

  24. Speaking of clear path fouls – that is actually the rule in FIBA Basketball Rules that if a player is fouled on a fast break when he has a clear path to the basket, it is an automatic flagrant foul (only that they don’t use the terminology ‘clear path’ or ‘flagrant foul’ – instead it is referred to as ‘Unsportsmanlike foul’).

    Art. 36.1.3.
    “To judge whether a foul is unsportsmanlike, the officials should apply the following
    - If a defensive player causes contact with an opponent from behind or laterally
    in an attempt to stop a fast break and there is no opponent between the
    offensive player and the opponents’ basket, it is an unsportsmanlike foul.”

    So, if the foul is from behind or from the side, it’s automatically an unsportsmanlike foul, equalling 2 free throws and the ball.

  25. I’ll have you know that Keith Bogans was a star and All-American at the University of Kentucky in college! He led the team to a 32-4 record that included a 26 game win streak, and an overall number 1 seed for the tournament. (But then he ran into Dwayne Wade’s coming out party. Seriously, who the hell gets a triple-double in college?!)

    Re: Fastbreaks, the only way to completely eliminate the potential for players to get hurt on such a play would be to just award 2 points for any kind of interference when the player with the ball is out in front. If the penalty is still 2 shots and the ball, for the defender it’s still possibly worth the gamble that they will miss the free throws. I don’t ever see the NBA going this far because that will take away the highlight reel come from behind blocks.

    And Bynum should have been suspended much more than 5 games! I was thinking 20-25, and I’m not even a Mavs fan or Laker-hater. I cannot think of ever seeing any instance of worse sportsmanship. Even the Pacers in the Palace were provoked. The game was over, the series was over, the Lakers season was over, but the Mavs still have everything to play for. Barea is driving for a layup, AND A GUY THAT HAS NEARLY A FOOT AND A HALF ON HIM DRILLS HIM WITH AN ELBOW TO THE RIBS IN MIDAIR, RATHER THAN JUST ATTEMPTING A BLOCK?!?! Not to mention Bynum’s history of similar plays… I’m disappointed in the league for such a soft penalty.

  26. i love the fact that we call it “unsportsmanlike”, that’s a very 19th century thing to say. also, i would hope that there was room for phrases such as “duel at dawn” and “weapon of choice” in that same sentence, but i guess that doesn’t work anymore in the PC era… *sigh*

    btw there is a similar fouling rule in soccer too: if a player has a clear “path to the goal” so to say, with just one defender -goalie aside- near him (i.e. close enough to stop him legally), than the attacking player cannot be fouled without that lone remaining defender who committed the foul getting sent off. it is referred to as the “last man” rule – because if there are two defenders near the attacker, the opportunity to score isn’t as clear cut, and a foul would just be a foul. however, as soon as no other defender is near the attacking player, really ANY foul is an automatic red card.
    also, any tackling foul from behind is supposed to be a red card, although there are subjective elements in this specific rule (whether or not the tackler has a chance to actually get the ball for example)

  27. Headshaking friends for the ugly Booze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyEnG_DEB1I

  28. does anyone actually like carlos boozer? does he have fans?

  29. @danh

    I know that a flagrant 1 is already meant to cover when a player doesn’t make a play for the ball. What I suggest is have flagrant 1 for mildly dirty plays and have a separate “non-basketball play” foul which is 2 and the ball, BUT it only counts as a personal foul. So if you make two of these plays, you’re not thrown out of the game. I think it would make this easier for the refs to call.

  30. i don’t agree with you skeets. announcers are always saying that refs are taking fouls and everything too seriously. like technical fouls, just a stare at a ref and a clap will get you a technical nowadays.

    what happened to good hard fouls? ever heard of those? i think the refs need to call the foul based on how bad the actually was. like some players just run right into the layup-er and straight up shoves them out of the court, most players just gives a light push and tries to hold on to the layup-er.

    and isn’t clear path similar to offside in soccer? in basketball you can’t foul the player if there is no player in front of him. and in soccer you can’t pass it to a player behind the defense(cherry-picking)

  31. I agree with skeets, if a player is on a fastbreak they’ve earned it because of poor offense and the defense wasn’t able to recover in time. Allowing the players to foul slows the game down and mitigates those mistakes.

    If they’re fouled on the fast break they should get one free throw and the ball back.

  32. You touched on Korver’s (lack of ) minutes. A reason for that is the Bulls have nowhere to hide Kyle on defense, particularly with Josh Smith spending more time at the SF position in the last couple of games.

    Also no coincidence that the Bulls’ great perimeter defense is praised later in the same episode.

    Love the new Wizards uniforms, though I think that uniform numbers should display the player’s salary. So Arenas would be # ’17.7′, Rashard Lewis would be # ’20.5′, Rose # ’5.5′ etc…

    At least then we’d know which players are earning their dough.

  33. Yeah, we see too much fast-breaks and not enough free-throws, you guys are right.

    And I really have different tastes than americans when it comes to fashion.

  34. Well, after listening again, I guess I’d be OK with a rule preventing fouls on fast-breaks, but seeing how fouls from behind turned out in soccer (just makes it (more) boring)…

    They can try that out in the D-league.

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