View Full Version : In Game Strategies: Fouling to protect a lead

04-22-2010, 10:48 PM
saw this interesting article on NYTimes.

The question is whether you should foul intentionally when you have a 3 pt lead and only seconds remaining.

Fouling to Protect a Lead: Debated but Rarely Done
Published: April 21, 2010

I recalled a couple of games last year where it played out. UP-UE first round in particular. UP was unable to foul, and UE got two chances at a three, and made the second, and eventually won in OT.

Seems like there's really no agreement on this. Any thoughts?

04-22-2010, 11:06 PM
Spurs should have fouled T-Mac many seasons ago before he made a miracle comeback win for the Rockets :D

04-25-2010, 08:25 AM
The 3-point shot is a low percentage shot. Everyone can agree to that.

The article indirectly validates that -- “When teams chose not to foul, they won 128 games and lost 4 in regulation, according to Synergy…”

128 out of 165 actual games cited is a compelling statistic. A large number size with 77pct. Clearly, a strong case not to foul considering the large sample size.

But of the 19 who fouled 17 won. At 89%, that is a better percentage but with a smaller statistical sample.

In situations with 5 seconds or less, all 14 teams who fouled won. 100%, but an even more smaller statistical sample.

Numbers don’t lie, and percentages won’t lie either.

Should you just defend and challenge a low percentage shot, or just foul- which has a much better winning percentage? Here, I’ll use that quote by Sun Tzu, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster. “

If I match up well in defense against the other team, I’ll play honest-D.

If they have a very good, or great go-to-guy, or is known to execute well at pressure laden end-games to create open shots, I will foul.

The article didn’t mention the teams involved in each of the 165 situations cited. To me that is the most important information in making a case whether to foul or not.
If we know who were playing in these 165 games, then we will have a better appreciation of the end game situation.

But in the absence of that information, even without the numbers and percentages cited, in situations like this, I’ll consider how good is the 3-pt shooting of my opponent in this game and how many options they have on the floor. If they are shooting well and have at least 2 very good options, I will foul. Otherwise, I‘ll play honest-D. Diskarte na lang kung sino ang itatapat mo kanino at kung anong klaseng formation ang gagamitin mo.

Kid Cubao
04-25-2010, 08:34 AM
i will try to foul if the conditions are right. ideally, you will foul if:

1. the one you foul is a lousy FT shooter, and
2. the opponent is not really known for making plays off the 2nd FT miss, ibig sabihin walang mala-arwind santos o jervy cruz sa kanila.

whatever happens, always expect that the second FT will be missed in such instances. the hustle plays off the boards in case of the 2nd FT miss will eat up the game clock anyway, so always keep busy.