Should the NBA Eliminate Popular “Hack-a-Shaq” Strategy?
We’ve all seen it, every coach in the league has experimented with it, some more than others, and quite frankly it’s agonizing to watch. Yes indeed, I am referencing the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy that many teams have been implementing as an integral part of their respective squad’s strategy. This sad excuse for a “strategy” has never been as highlighted as it is today in the 2015 NBA playoffs. In the Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets series, both coaches have enforced the “Hack-a-Shaq” method against one another. The usual suspects being sent to the charity stripe are Dwight Howard (what’s new), and 20 year old Clint N’Dumba-Capela out of Switzerland, who can’t hit a free throw to save his life. Coach Kevin McHale returns the favor as well when Rajon Rondo is in the game. Then over in the Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonia Spurs series, coach Popovich, who has been the biggest culprit in implementing this strategy, has been absolutely abusing it. DeAndre Jordan, the Shaquille O’Neal equivalent of today, as far as free throw shooting is concerned, has not gotten any better from the line. It’s no secret that something must be done, and this past week Commissioner Adam Silver noted that it will be a “hot topic of discussion” at upcoming league meetings.
Must Be A Change
The last time I mentioned the thought of Adam Silver enforcing change in the association, I went into talks about the possibility of the league restructuring the playoffs in efforts to balance out the conferences. According to ESPN, the commish is concerned that the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy is ruining the aesthetics of the game and that it is simply “not great entertainment for our fans.” And of course he has a solid point, fans want to see fast paced, high scoring games, a lot of the 3’s and dunks… this new “Strategy” teams have been implementing takes a toll on the overall rhythm of the game that makes us as the fans, love the game. On the contrary, maybe there should be a reason not to change it.
Or Maybe Not
Based on his commentary, Adam Silver was first completely set on changing the rules around the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy. But after discussions with multiple general managers and competition meetings, Silver’s mind has changed a tad. “It’s something that I’m on the fence about” Silver added. The simple fact that professional basketball players should be more than capable of sinking free throws is a valid point and a huge aspect to an individual player’s game — why not make them pay if they haven’t excelled in this area of their game? “What I’ve said is we have another general managers meeting coming up in May, we have a competition committee meeting in June, and I’m sure it’s going to be a hot topic of discussion. Then, we have an owners meeting in July, so I think at all three of those meetings we’re going to be having full-throated conversations about what the right rules should be going forward.” Can’t wait to see what the league cooks up.