The NBA spent the offseason putting in a lot of work addressing some of the persisting problems in the game today. One of those is how offensive players use their bodies to draw fouls.
Recently, the NBA revealed that players who bump into defenders during the shot intentionally will not be awarded a foul regardless of whether it goes in or not. Steph Curry learned about this rule change the hard way during a preseason game, then getting flamed for it on social media.
But that isn't the only rule change that has been implemented going into the season. NBA referees have been instructed now to keep an eye out for players who intentionally bump into players running back up the court in order to draw a foul. Now, if an offensive player does so, he will be called for an offensive foul.
Elijah Bryant of the Milwaukee Bucks tried doing this during the Bucks' preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the referees caught it and ruled it an offensive foul against Bryant and the Bucks.
Many fans have been waiting for the NBA to get stricter when it comes to calling fouls. Over the last few years, offensive players have been able to use the lenient officiating on defense to get their way. But that is no longer going to be an option.
Fans reacted to this incident on r/NBA. Most of them pointed out that players like Chris Paul, Luka Doncic, and Trae Young, who regularly do this during games, will probably be frustrated with the rule change. Others debated on how this rule could be manipulated and misconstrued going forward.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how this rule is implemented in the regular season and playoffs. Given how ingenious some of the offensive players are, this rule might not take long to be manipulated.
Referees and NBA officials will have to keep a close eye on this rule and the players' behavior to make sure that nothing is being done to undermine the rule. These changes were long overdue in order to uphold the sanctity of the sport, especially the defensive side of things.