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Fouling With The Lead 101

 
AP

AP

It’s baffling that Sunday’s Game 4 lasted as long as it did. Because if either team executed simple basketball strategy, neither overtimes would’ve happened.

Where Amazing Happens? More like, Where Stupid Happens.

Every team in America (high school, AAU, D-League, NCAA, YMCA, beer leagues) should closely evaluate this scenario:

  • Under 10 seconds remaining
  • Winning by three points
  • Playing defense

Why in god’s name would you not foul the team down by three points, forcing them to shoot two foul shots? And by two foul shots, I mean two points. And by two points, I mean one point shy of tying the game and sending it into overtime. And by one point shy, I mean, you’ll win the damn game.

“You play to win the game,” said Herm Edwards.

But no, you’ve got to let Ray Allen, arguably the best shooter in the game, attempt a game-tying three-pointer to force the game into overtime. He did.

But no, you’ve got to let Ben Gordon attempt a game-typing three-pointer to force the game into double OT. He did.

Why were these guys even allowed to attempt? Why not just eliminate that threat and foul?

So foul on the inbound pass. Foul as the clock runs out. Like Hack-a-Shaq, just Hack-anybody-with-a-pulse. Even foul the team’s best free throw shooter because no matter how good he is, two free throws only equals two points — as in one point shy of extending the game.

As in, the team leading will still win.

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