Does the "Hack-A-Whoever" Stragegy Work?

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Pwn Toney, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. linwood

    linwood All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    4,380
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Great post!

    I agree with the idea that there are lots of intangibles that simple percentage statistics don't capture. A few years back, I went to see the Sonics play the Rockets. Yao Ming was having a very ho-hum game; playing just hard enough so it didn't seem like he was dogging it. The Sonics went to the hack strategy early (why they did that, I will never know since Yao is a great FT shooter for a big man), which really seemed to motivate Ming. After the third or fourth foul he started calling for the ball on nearly every possession, and took over the game.

    The other point you make about being dull to watch is a great one. Not just on the defensive end, but on the offensive end too. No matter how great Dwaeiyne Wade may be, I just hated his game when he intentionally drew fouls and would go to the line 20 times a game. Dull, man, dull.

    I think that there are definitely times when fouling a dominant player to keep them from scoring is a great strategy that might work. I hate it when coaches fear that strategy so much that they refuse to play a dominant player just in case they might lose to the hack-a-whoever strategy.
    roscoe36 likes this.
  2. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    1,040
    Gender:
    Male
    Firstly, great post Laimbrane.

    Secondly I'd just like to add, that for the regulations that they added to stop it from happening, the NBA specifically mentioned that it was for entertainment reasons. Although we are all fans of the sport, we need to keep in mind that the NBA is a entertainment business. Anything which lowers their value relative to other entertainers is bad business. That's why they wanted to get rid of it.

    The same argument goes for flopping. Its a good strategy by players. Check out KD's FT numbers on the rip through. It helps them win, but its ugly basketball and bad entertainment so the NBA tries to regulate it.
    linwood likes this.
  3. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    17,397
    Likes Received:
    2,755
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicaaago
    Pop thought it had a psychological effect on the target as they'd be center stage missing critical ft's and effectively publicly neutered. He knew their coaches would bench them and it would change the dynamic of the game (willing to take a 50/50 chance that it was to change it for the better). It's not purely an ev issue because college teams will foul anybody with the ball to create Extra possessions when they are trying to comeback from a big deficit near the end. But again, with Dre, it is both an EV improvement for the fouling team AND the added possessions.

    Hail mary's probably average less yards on average than a qb sneak, but it's a much better play call in certain situations.

    As far as the entertainment value, all I can say is that the league effectively changed the rules after our championship because they deemed our style boring. If they can do that, just imagine how much they hate the ft contests with the shaqs being embarrassed. I bet Pop got some back room pressure from the league to tone it down.


    On the subject of end of quarter fouls though, I'm still not sure why it hasn't massively caught on. The math is so completely overwhelming... not marginal like the typical hack-a-____. Also, it doesn't recur over and over, so there wouldn't be any stigma attached to it. Nobody used to do 2 for 1's until somebody figured it out and now it is almost a best practice (except that we seem to not do it quite often). If it has a 1 point benefit every time it is used and we could use it half the time in quarters 1-3, then it would result in +1.5 points per game on our point differential. That alone would move us up 5 places in the point differential rankings (to Phoenix's level).
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
    roscoe36 and The Panda like this.
  4. max

    max All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,387
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    my bunker in the Carribbean
    How often do you see that off a missed FT?
  5. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    14,970
    Likes Received:
    3,030
    Location:
    Michigan
    Teams at all levels have "free throw breaks" that they run on made or missed free throws.

Share This Page