James Harden has been one of the many players who has been significantly affected by the NBA's change in rule with regards to granting fouls. Recently, the NBA made sure that players could not draw fouls by intentionally bumping into defenders while taking a shot.
But James Harden believes these rules haven't really changed the way fouls are called in the NBA. Speaking after the Brooklyn Nets' loss to the Phoenix Suns, Harden told the press that at this point, players can't even touch other players defensively, as it will lead to the offensive player receiving multiple free throws.
Harden is not wrong in his assessment here. But the truth of the matter is that he is one of the players who has reaped the benefits of the NBA's attitude towards foul-calling more than anyone else. Harden is one of the most gifted players in the NBA when it comes to offense, and one of his biggest skills was drawing fouls and earning free throws.
"At this point, you can't touch nobody defensively. Or it'll be two free throws."
That has changed a lot since the start of the new season. Harden became the poster boy for players drawing fouls illegally, and thus, referees seem more reluctant to grant him a foul and a trip to the free-throw line. Nets head coach Steve Nash has spoken about how unfair it is that Harden has become the human example of this rule.
Harden initially struggled to draw fouls this season but has adapted well. And now, he is attempting the most amount of free throws he has since the 2019-20 NBA season. So clearly, Harden has found a way to adapt to this rule change offensively but is still struggling to work around it on the defensive end of the court.