I can’t be the only person who has noticed how soft the NBA game has become. Seriously, what sport are we watching?
The NBA is not the NFL, but it’s still a contact sport and physical play is a necessity. Maybe I’m just a product of the 90s where hand checking was allowed and if you drove to the basket you expected to end up on the floor. The ticky-tack fouls are getting ridiculous and commissioner Adam Silver needs to refine the rules.
We’ve all seen it; James Harden drives to the rim, doesn’t get touched, flails his arms, contorts his body, and gets the call. A post player backs down his defender using all his strength, the defender gives a little resistance and the ref blows his whistle. Come on ref!
Basketball needs to get back to the way it was in the 90s, where players were allowed to be physical and it made the game more competitive. Today, scoring is too easy. Are games that end 97-93 really that boring? Lower scoring games are more competitive and enjoyable to watch. Don’t you want to be on the edge of your seat all game because buckets are hard to come by and earned instead of watching two teams score 110-plus points with ease?
Michael Jordan said a few years ago that if he played in today’s game, he’d average 40 points per game. I believe it. His ability to drive, shoot, and finish around the basket would be a nightmare for defenders today. As a defender, you can’t body-up the ball handler, you can’t put your hands on them, you can’t even use your strength to stop an offensive player from getting by you. How else are you supposed to play D?
Take Atlanta Hawks’ center Dwight Howard. He is one of the most athletic big men in the game today, and he gets called for fouls even on clean blocks. When he jumps straight up in the air, which is allowed and called the “verticality rule,” because he’s so strong, players bounce off him and refs automatically assume it’s a foul. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, “give the man a break!”
I’m sick of seeing defenders getting penalized for playing solid defense. These rule changes have softened up the game entirely. Players look for calls on every single play and complain way too much. It also has taken away so many good rivalries because the chippiness isn’t there anymore. Think back and remember the battles between the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks and Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings (I know, that’s from the early 2000’s, but it counts), they were hard fought games that were SO entertaining to watch.
Silver desperately needs to have a meeting with the refs soon and change what is a foul or not a foul. Let players play, let big men bang bodies, and let defenders play defense. With all the increase in ball handling skills, you can’t expect someone to stay in front of a Kyrie Irving without bodying up even a little bit.
Make basketball great again!