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Are Foul Intentions Paying Off in NBA?

June 04, 1988

During the last couple of playoff games, I have noticed that the Dallas Maverick players go for the man in defending their basket and not the ball, leaving them vulnerable to only a two-point problem.

Meanwhile, the Lakers were going for the ball and not the man, leaving them vulnerable to a three-point problem.

Never mind who is at fault, the rules and system are wrong. In football, on a pass play, if a defender goes for the man and not the ball, he is severely penalized, as he should be. But in basketball, a defender is rewarded if he goes for the man instead of the ball. His team only has to worry about two points, not three.

If he goes for the man, the foul is intentional. If he goes for the ball, the foul is unintentional. Yet, the punishment is more severe in basketball than in football for doing the sportsmanlike thing.

The rules committee should consider allowing the player that is fouled intentionally to go for three shots instead of two.

KENTON WHITE

Costa Mesa

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