The Implemented New ‘Harden Rule’ Seems To Work

Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Implemented New ‘Harden Rule’ Seems To Work 


This past summer, the NBA announced that they will be implementing a couple of (minor) rule changes.

Minor changes for most players, but huge changes for one player specifically – James Harden.

Labeled as the ‘Harden Rule’ this new rule was implemented to attempt to limit players from collecting cheap shooting fouls, and is an extension of the rip-through move that was implemented earlier this year. According to Howard Beck, referees will be making distinction between fouls that occur on the drive or gather versus fouls on actual shooting motion.  If a player has not yet gathered the ball when contact occurs, it’s a common foul, not a shooting foul.

Now, eight games into the season, we can note that this rule indeed seems to be working out.  James Harden is attempting ‘only’ seven free throw attempts per game, which has drastically impacted his scoring average. Last season, Harden went to the line an average 11.6 times per game. The fact that Chris Paul has only played one game makes the effect of the ‘Harden Rule’ even more recognizable, as Harden is literally playing with the same starting five as last year.

But this all sounds worse for Harden than it acutally is. He was able to top 20 points in each of his eight season games so far, averaging 26.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 1.8 steals. I guess he will be alright.


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