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Old 03-02-2002, 07:15 AM   #1
Anthony
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Lightbulb Bring Back The Old Free Throw Rules!

Being barely old enough to remember the rules regarding free throws that existed until about 25 years ago, there's much to be said in favor of returning to them. For those here who are unfamiliar, the old rules authorized only one free throw for non-act-of-shooting, front-court fouls until the offending team entered the penalty situation, after which two free throws were offered. Backcourt fouls always carried two free throws whether they were in the act of shooting or not; and a two-shot foul committed in the penalty situation meant three chances to make two free throws.

With some minor modifications taking the existence of the three-point basket into account, these procedures can be easily revived (a foul committed while the victim was in the act of shooting a three-pointer would mean three free throws, or four chances to make three if the fouling team is in the penalty situation; in addition, a "flagrant foul" could also be made a three-shot foul).

Doing this would inject a lot more strategy into the game, especially in the closing minutes: A team that's behind and needs to foul to get the ball back might choose to wait until the man with the ball crosses the midcourt stripe before fouling him, for example; and a team not in the penalty may decide to foul and give up the one free throw when they would not do so under the present rules. And I'm sure that other, similar scenarios would also arise.

Last edited by Anthony; 03-02-2002 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 03-02-2002, 10:15 AM   #2
air_canada
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Hmmm.... I don't think so. The current free-throw rules ensure fewer whistles blown and thus fewer stops in play. The addition of the old rules would send actual game lengths up by five to fifteen minutes, or even more. It's logical to note that any non-shooting foul while the offending player's team is below the penalty limit results in much less time wasted. (a inbounds pass doesn't take nearly as much time as a free throw).
However, some teams would benefit from shooting more free-throws. Without these rules, the dying-minutes strategy is still very alive. I recall one game opposing the Raptors to the Timberwolves. The Raptors had a long lead and the end-of-the-bench guys were on the floor. T-Wolves coach Flip Saunders used this plan: foul Raptors center Eric Montross, a 49% free-throw shooter, while they were over the penalty limit, and get him to shoot free-throws. Montross was 3-14 in the fourth quarter, I think. This resulted in a lot more offensive situations following a missed free-throw. So, as you can see, not only the offensive team (leading) can make use of free-throws, but also the defensive team. They can use poor shooters to their advantage, giving them the ability to set up more offensive plays.
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by air_canada
Hmmm.... I don't think so. The current free-throw rules ensure fewer whistles blown and thus fewer stops in play. The addition of the old rules would send actual game lengths up by five to fifteen minutes, or even more. It's logical to note that any non-shooting foul while the offending player's team is below the penalty limit results in much less time wasted. (a inbounds pass doesn't take nearly as much time as a free throw).
However, some teams would benefit from shooting more free-throws. Without these rules, the dying-minutes strategy is still very alive. I recall one game opposing the Raptors to the Timberwolves. The Raptors had a long lead and the end-of-the-bench guys were on the floor. T-Wolves coach Flip Saunders used this plan: foul Raptors center Eric Montross, a 49% free-throw shooter, while they were over the penalty limit, and get him to shoot free-throws. Montross was 3-14 in the fourth quarter, I think. This resulted in a lot more offensive situations following a missed free-throw. So, as you can see, not only the offensive team (leading) can make use of free-throws, but also the defensive team. They can use poor shooters to their advantage, giving them the ability to set up more offensive plays.

Your real name isn't Paul Tagliabue by any chance? If it's not, then who cares if the games will take five or ten minutes longer to play? And bringing back three chances to make two would be only fair to players like Shaquille O'Neal, who are getting utterly soaked by the new rules permitting zone defenses.
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