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In case you missed it, a terrific article in yesterday's NY Times about the dilemma coaches are faced on whether or not to foul in the waning seconds of a close game when your team is up 3.

In Game 4, Boston held a 3-point lead with nine seconds remaining in overtime. He instructed his team to intentionally foul so Chicago could get only 2 points at the free-throw line, instead of potentially tying the game with a 3-pointer. His players failed to foul. Ben Gordon’s 3 tied the game and Chicago won in double overtime

“We literally forgot to foul,” Rivers said. “We came out of the timeout and were going to foul. We messed it up. They score and win the game in overtime. And it takes us two extra games to win the series.”

Rivers faced a decision that coaches at all levels wrestle with: whether to foul with a 3-point lead and the shot clock off. It is one of the most heavily debated topics among the best N.B.A. minds. It was a factor in last year’s playoffs, including the finals, and probably will be again this postseason, when teams are more evenly matched and playoff survival is at stake.

Personally I'm a big fan of fouling even with the 3 point lead.  Teams should practice it to make sure players don't get off the shot.  I don't like the idea of tipping your hand in a newspaper though.  Do you think Dwyane Wade may throw up a shot on the catch expecting a foul since Doc says he's for it?

So what do you think?  Should a team foul or not foul?



tb727 4/22/2010 04:47:00 PM Edit
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4 Responses so far.

  1. Jenda says:

    Totally depends on the players. In this season I'd prefer not to foul as the opposing players are bound to get the rebound in case of missed 2nd free throw.

  2. tb727 says:

    Haha excellent point Jenda!

    I found it really interesting in the article where Van Gundy justifies not fouling the Flakers before Fisher hit the 3 in the Finals by saying "You’ve got to have confidence that your guys can go knock down two free throws the other way on a pretty consistent basis"

    Totally throwing his guys under the bus, but then again, shouldn't expect anything differently from SVG.

  3. tb727 says:

    Awesome timing on this, happened in tonight's Cleveland-Chicago game!

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