NBA To Implement ‘Harden Rule’ & ‘Zaza Rule’

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NBA To Implement ‘Harden Rule’ & ‘Zaza Rule’


The NBA will be implementing yet two more (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 will 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.

The second rule change is also unofficially named after a current player, the ‘Zaza Rule’. This new rule will aim to eliminate reckless closeouts.

A defender closing out on a jump shooter, sliding up an extra step to be very close, taking away space, making it almost impossible for the shooter to safely land, is extremly dangerous and excatly what Zaza Pachulia did to Kawhi Leonard during this past playoffs. Zaza took an extra step after Kawhi released the ball, taking away a safe landing spot for Leonard, resulting in Leonard landing on Pachulia’s left foot, injuring him in the process.

Back then, Pachulia was called for a common foul, with the new rules, referees are asked to look for malicious intent, which can be determined not only during the play but also under official replay. League officials will also review reckless closeouts and can up- or downgrade the foul, just like with flagrant fouls. Had this rule already been in action last season, Zaza Pachulia would have been assessed a flagrant foul.

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