Have you had enough of this already? Well, too bad; you should end your week by reading Sean Corp's latest at the Detroit Free Press. Hack-a-Dre hit national airwaves this week when on Wednesday night the Houston Rockets fouled Andre Drummond on 12 consecutive possessions, including five in the first nine seconds of the second half. Drummond took 36 free throws in all and missed an NBA record 23. Naturally, it sparked an old debate, and for good reason.
Sean made his case for a rule change in our last podcast in a debate with another intelligent DBB'er Ben Gulker, but now you can read Sean's take in writing over at the Freep.
Since we have bludgeoned this topic here lately, I will excerpt Sean's proposal for change, but you really should read the whole article. It's a good read even if you're well versed on it.
All that needs to be done to stop this epidemic is to give the fouled team in the bonus a choice - either the team can allow the fouled player to shoot free throws or the team can retain possession of the ball. Allow the team to take the ball side out of bounds, and if the foul occurs with less than 14 seconds on the clock it is reset to 14. Incidentally, this is exactly what happens when a team is not yet in the bonus. The change would simply allow them to keep the side out of bounds as an option. Credit where it is due, the first place I saw this suggestion was SBNation's Tom Ziller.
This would eliminate the incentive to foul poor free-throw shooters off the ball. If, however, a player like Drummond or Jordan had the ball in their hands and was fouled they would have to shoot free throws. That means there is still a tactical disadvantage for having bad free-throw shooters on the floor.
It also means that a team trailing in the final minutes can still intentionally foul the ball handlers as a way to try and fight their way back into the game. This is by no means the only move the league could take to fix the issue, but it is the best.
And I agree, that does seem like the simplest and best solution for the overall game of basketball. No matter how many players can or can't shoot free throws, allowing teams such a distinct advantage for committing an off-the-ball intentional foul doesn't make sense, and in the process it's awful entertainment. The NBA already tipped its hand in how it feels about off-the-ball intentional fouls with the rule in the final two minutes. Now they just need to close the gaping loophole.