This fix may be the most difficult of them all because there’s so much subjectivity to it. At the same time, there seems to be too much subjectivity to it.
Rockets fans know this because we’ve seen it with James Harden time and time again. He will get the same call three times in one game, but not get it in the next. He can get the call in the first half, but then he wont get it in the fourth quarter.
And, as we saw against Golden State, he couldn’t get the calls in series-closing games.
I’m not here to talk about rigged; I don’t care about rigged. Just look at the no-call contact that occurs at 0:09 and 0:39 and the foul called at 1:30.
Growing up on basketball and watching Reggie Miller (the commentator saying that’s a foul) and Bruce Bownen stick their legs out to get contact on a three-point shot, I thought impeding the landing of a shooter was an automatic foul?
Well, it is. In fact, it’s so automatic, that you’re called for a foul for sticking your leg out to get contact. So how is the first contact a no-call? We saw Kawhi Leonard get completely taken out with contact like that— it’s a foul.
The second no-call: this is something Harden has mastered. You stick your arm in, he pulls up, and that’s a foul. There’s obviously contact with Harden on his elbow as he’s shooting, so why is that not called?
The third foul was actually called, but not as a shooting foul. The only contact that was made was Klay Thompson hitting inside Harden’s elbow. That was caused by Thompson sticking his arm in and Harden being quick enough to get the contact on the pull-up. That’s in the act of shooting and not on the floor. May I also add that it’s literally the same contact made on the second no-call. To add insult to injury, Harden makes the three on what would have been a potential four-point play.
Now we have to ask ourselves: how do we fix this?
I think it’s simple, the NBA has to make a strong statement and/or guideline to what being fouled on a three-point shot is and what it isn’t. I know there are already rules to it, but Harden is clearly mucking up some sort of moral basketball gray area when it comes to these types of calls.
We got rid of the McGrady-Durant sweep-through-the-arms foul, so do they want to do the same with Harden drawing contact? It seems his ability to draw legitimate contact, like in the second no-call, is impeding him getting the correct calls made, even if it’s a blatant un-forced foul like the first call. He’s no longer getting the benefit of the doubt or the call.
The front office needs to let the league know that no one is getting calls on threes with created contact, or they must create an added section on what drawing fouls on thee-pointers actually is. It’s that simple.