Adam Silver is finally giving in and getting off that fence, as there might be changes coming to the player hacking strategy. According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports, Adam Silver offered his thoughts during a podcast.
"I’m increasingly of the view that we will be looking to make some sort of change in that rule this summer."
"Even for those who had not wanted to make the change, we’re being forced to that position just based on these sophisticated coaches understandably using every tactic available to them," Silver said. "It’s just not the way we want to see the game played."
Adam Silver has been reluctant to change the rule since becoming commissioner. Even after a series between the Clippers and Rockets during the 2015 Playoffs that featured a lot of hacking from both sides, Silver stuck to his guns. As annoying as it is, you can always make the argument that players should be able to shoot free throws well enough to the point that hacking them is not beneficial.
Hack-A-Player has always existed in the NBA, but according to Zillgitt, it has reached a new low (or high in this instance):
Hack-A-Player is up this year. The number of those intentional fouls through mid-December surpassed the number of times it happened last season (164), and the league is closing in on 300 Hack-A-Player instances before the All-Star break.
This is an issue that has affected the Pistons since Andre Drummond was drafted. It has reached a point where teams like the Rockets put in players like KJ McDaniels to foul Drummond five times in a nine second span. That resulted in Andre Drummond beating the record for most free throws missed in a game with 23. He was 13-36 in that game.
Keep in mind too, that this isn't an issue that just affects the Pistons. There are teams like the Clippers and Rockets with players like DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard, that deal with the same thing.
As much as players like Drummond practice free throws, there should be no way they can be that bad, right? While this is a legitimate argument, it doesn't make slowing down the game to expose this weakness something that should be a part of the game. There are simply some aspects of the game that some players aren't good at and never will be. When players like JJ Redick are jumping on the back of Andre Drummond while the opposing team is shooting free throws, just to put him on the line, something has to be done. If a player cannot shoot 3s, then they do not shoot them. The fact that they cannot shoot 3s because it is a weakness cannot be exposed by opposing teams by forcing them to physically shoot 3s every time.
The same should apply to free throws. I'm all for fouling a bad shooter on every shot that they put up to put them on the line. That is a legitimate strategy, and a great way to stop a dominant inside presence like Andre Drummond. To foul them while they are not even involved with the play, and to put in end-of-the-bench players to do this, needs to stop.
While Silver does not mention potential solutions on the matter, there are plenty of ideas that have been suggested in various posts and GameThreads. It's about time the NBA is getting on board with changing this bad flaw in the rules. The NBA is an entertainment business that people pay hundreds of dollars to watch live. When they are forced to watch a player brick free throws instead of exciting alley-oops and incredible displays of athleticism and skill, they are losing the entertainment value from the game.
What are your thoughts, DBB?