I was scrolling down my Twitter timeline after the Lakers’ loss to Orlando when I saw the following tweet:
Think about it…
Commissioner David Stern said that “the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans” by sitting out four of their top players in their only visit to Miami this season. Well watching Dwight Howard shoot free throws the entire game isn’t much of a service to the league or fans either.
The Orlando Magic began hacking Dwight with 38 seconds left in the third quarter and it continued well into the fourth quarter, until the two-minute mark (NBA rules state that a foul away from the ball in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime result in one free throw, attempted by any player on the team that was fouled, as well as possession of the ball). There were five intentional fouls in nine possessions in a four minutes stretch in the fourth, which resulted in 10 free throws for Dwight (he made five of them).
The constant stoppage in play makes the game very unpleasant to watch. The crowd of nearly 19,000 at Staples Center didn’t pay to watch free throws. The game completely loses its rhythm, neither team can create momentum, and it just becomes boring. You want to talk about a “disservice” to the fans and the game, this is a disservice.
Coaches use hacking as a strategy, but it simply takes away from the game of basketball. What ever happened to playing some good old-fashioned defense to get stops?
The league added the rule mentioned earlier to prevent intentional fouls at the end of games, but that’s not enough. Something needs to be done about this ridiculous phenomenon.